25 Startups in Philadelphia Steering the Tech Revolution
Philadelphia may be mostly known as the birthplace of democracy, but it seems the City of Brotherly Love also shares a fondness for fast-growing tech companies. In recent years, the city has seen a significant spike in new startups, which has lead to the formation of Philly Startup Leaders, an organization that aims to foster Philly’s growing entrepreneurial community. In 2019, the city ranked number 22 on CBRE’s report of the top 50 North American cities with high levels of tech talent and growth — a clear indicator of the city’s promise as an up-and-coming tech capital.
As a city that played such a pivotal role in our nation’s history, Philadelphia is no stranger to the power of ambition. It’s no wonder an increasing number of entrepreneurs have decided to plant their own dreams in its historic soil. From developing groundbreaking concussion technology to creating an eco-friendly approach to fast dining, Philly’s tech newcomers are diving headfirst into the tech movement, with the goal of redefining industries and the tech world at large. Here’s a look at 25 startups in Philadelphia steering the tech revolution.
Startups in Philadelphia to Know
- Simply Good Jars
- Avisi Technologies
- This App Saves Lives
- MD Ally
- Kumba Africa
Focus: Retail Technology
What they do: Slyce develops visual search and image recognition technology for retailers, brands and publishers. Combining 3D real-world product recognition with barcode and catalogue scanning technologies, the company enables customers to snap or scan any object to receive immediate exact matches or find similar results online. Boasting clients like Bed Bath & Beyond and Tommy Hilfiger, Slyce has acquired five organizations since its founding including Allyke, Inc., SnipSnap and Drivetrain Agency.
Focus: Data Consolidation + Infrastructure
What they do: Established by Bob Moore and Jake Stein, Stitch has created an ETL service built for developers, which connects data from SaaS platforms like Salesforce to cloud data warehouses such as Amazon Redshift. The company’s technology enables developers to provision data to analysts and other team members in minutes, giving them the ability to extract data from leading sources, load it into data platforms and then analyze it using tools like Alteryx and Amazon QuickSight. Stitch works with a variety of clients including Calm, Peloton, Envoy and ThirdLove.
Focus: Behavioral Health Solutions
What they do: Founded by Christopher Molaro, NeuroFlow has developed a digital health platform that optimizes the way behavioral healthcare is delivered, tracked and assessed. The company simplifies remote patient monitoring, delivers risk stratification and facilitates collaborative care through the use of workflow automation, an engagement platform and applied AI. Guided by the aim to increase patient engagement and improve compliance, NeuroFlow provides tools that support remote monitoring and behavioral health integration across the continuum of care including psychology and primary care.
Focus: Robotics Safety + Security
What they do: FORT Robotics is dedicated to empowering builders, creators and users of autonomous and robotic systems to reduce risk, mitigate threats and maintain control. The company confronts safety and security challenges related to agriculture, construction, manufacturing, material handling and other industries. FORT Robotics’ platform, FORT Oversight, is designed to bring together certified safety and advanced security for smart machines and the people who control them, offering built-in encryption, multiple network options and web and mobile connectivity.
Simply Good Jars
Focus: Food + Sustainability
What they do: Launched by chef Jared Cannon, Simply Good Jars delivers healthy, hand-prepared meals in reusable and returnable packages through the use of smart refrigerated kiosks located in offices, universities, transit centers and health systems. Once customers are finished eating their meals, they can return the empty jars at the fridge, ensuring that no packaging materials end up in landfills. For every jar that is returned, the company donates a meal to someone in need through partnerships with local food hunger organizations.
What they do: Conceived by undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania, Avisi Technologies is developing a nanotechnology-enabled defense against blindness in glaucoma patients. The company’s VisiPlate leverages an ultrathin nanoplate, which in turn creates shorter procedures with easier follow-up care. Avisi Technologies receives support from Johnson & Johnson, Ben Franklin Technology Partners and MedTech Innovator.
Focus: Commission Tracking + Quota Attainment
What they do: Founded by AJ Bruno and Cole Evetts, QuotaPath has created a growth enablement engine designed to fuel high-performing revenue organizations. The company’s automated commission tracking provides a full understanding of earning and quotas, enables reps to visualize earnings and attainment in real-time and helps eliminate excess cost and reduce mistakes. QuotaPath’s client base includes ExecVision, Graylog and PhotoShelter.
Focus: Business Development + Partnership Building
What they do: Crossbeam provides a collaborative intelligence platform that helps companies build valuable partnerships. The platform enables companies to find overlapping customers and prospects with their partners while keeping their data private and secure. Crossbeam helps its clients generate qualified leads, get real-time updates on overlapping accounts and target the right customers, leads and prospects.
Focus: On-Demand Design Services
What they do: Penji offers on-demand design services at a flat monthly cost. The company allows brands to scale and delegate their design workloads and then assigns companies’ projects to the best designers for the job. Companies will receive a draft of an assigned project within 24 to 48 hours and are given the option to submit as many revisions as needed until the work is fully completed.
This App Saves Lives
Focus: Vehicle Safety
What they do: This App Saves Lives is dedicated to putting a dent in distracted driving by rewarding people who don’t use their phones while driving. Users simply drive with their screens locked or keep the company’s app at the foreground to earn points for driving without using anything but hands-free calls, navigation and music. Rewards are stored in the app’s dashboard and can be used as food delivery discounts and more.
Focus: HR Analytics
What they do: Employee Cycle offers an automated, centralized and real-time HR metrics dashboard. Built for small and medium-sized businesses, the company’s dashboard connects companies’ modern HR systems to track, analyze and share HR metrics from one place, removing the need to export spreadsheets from multiple systems and manually update reports. Employee Cycle integrates with a variety of sources including Namely, Sapling and Greenhouse.
What they do: Kumba Africa offers an online marketplace that allows American and European travelers to book and pay for affordable, authentic experiences in Africa. The company’s experiences are provided by locals, tour guides and tour operators across 12 African countries and range from single-day to multiple-day excursions. Kumba Africa uses Stripe to ensure customers make safe and secure payments.
What they do: Founded by Brad Larson and Sumorwuo Zaza, NICKLpass enables publishers to offer content that matters to their most valued users. The company partners with leading media outlets to offer readers the opportunity to enjoy unlimited articles for $20 per month, thus removing paywalls. NICKLpass is guided by the aim to make it easier to support important content.
What they do: Leadovate has created an interactive learning platform for college admissions strategy. The company’s AI-powered app allows college applicants to write college essays and fill out the Common App and FAFSA more effectively, providing real-time feedback. Leadovate’s aim is to develop autonomous solutions that students actually enjoy using, offer personalized guidance and prompt students to start writing their college applications earlier.
What they do: Founded by Shanel Fields, MD Ally offers an advanced telemedicine platform designed by EMS and ER practitioners to support non-emergency callers by instantly connecting them with healthcare providers. The platform is intended to optimize the effectiveness of emergency medical dispatch processes and enhance existing protocols, offering initial assessments and patient education. Providing access to licensed providers 24/7, MD Ally enables users to schedule in-person care appointments and dispatch alternate transportation to improve patient health outcomes and satisfaction.
Focus: Information Management
What they do: Guru provides collaborative knowledge management software that enables users to spend less time searching for information. Boasting $70.7 million in funding, the company captures teams’ information and organizes it, making it more accessible, trackable and iterative. Guru integrates with a variety of apps including Slack, Dropbox, Salesforce and Drift.
Focus: Healthcare Data Integration + Discovery
What they do: HealthVerity provides technologies and software tools that power the discovery, licensing and linkage of traditional and emerging healthcare data. The company’s technology serves as the foundation for the rapid creation, exchange and management of healthcare and consumer data. Since its inception, HealthVerity has raised $42.2 million in funding over four rounds.
Focus: Robotics + Drones
What they do: Exyn Technologies develops autonomous aerial robot systems for GPS-denied environments. The company is creating drone platforms that don’t rely on human control or GPS information, using technology built upon multiple redundant sensors, mapping for obstacle avoidance and autonomous flight planning. Exyn Technologies enables flexible deployment of single or multiple robots, which can intelligently navigate and adapt to complex environments in real-time.
Focus: Digital Pathology
What they do: Founded by a team out of Johns Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh, Proscia is developing intelligent software intended to change the way the world practices pathology. Leveraging AI, machine learning and high-performance computing, the company’s software unlocks data buried deep within biopsy slides, uncovering new insights that drive research and improve treatments. Proscia has secured $12.3 million in funding since its founding.
Focus: Phone Charging Stations
What they do: Established by Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot provides free and secure phone charging stations for use in retail stores, hospitals and arenas. The company’s charging stations help retail stores increase dwell and purchases, offering the chance to capture valuable data like phone numbers and email addresses and gain guest insight through instant surveys. ChargeItSpot serves a wide range of clients including Nordstrom, Comcast, Whole Foods and Under Armour.
Focus: Medical Transportation Tech
What they do: Roundtrip offers on-demand and scheduled non-emergency medical transportation for patients. The company’s software makes a community of ride providers available while leveraging data on patient rides to gain additional insights and improve planning. Roundtrip is intended for the use of healthcare professionals like care coordinators, social workers and nurses.
Focus: Financial Services + Marketing Tech
What they do: Amino Payments offers real-time financial reporting to provide the transparency needed to help advertisers optimize their media spend. The company’s technology enables organizations to identify the best performing supply paths, understand the actual cost of each impression and authenticate vendors and their financial transactions. Amino Payments’ goal is to bring transparency to the media supply chain and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.
Focus: Sports Marketing + Community Outreach
What they do: LeagueSide strives to make youth sports more accessible by making sponsorships easy and scalable for brands and youth sports leagues. Through the use of integrated youth sports marketing, the company connects regional and national brands with their target communities. LeagueSide’s client base includes Uber Eats, HomeAway, Smithfield Foods and Smoothie King.
Focus: Beauty Product Subscriptions
What they do: Created by Mugha Eltigani, NaturAll Club offers a subscription service that delivers fresh hair products. The company’s products are designed for various hair types and include organic ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil and avocado oil. In addition to offering nontoxic and safe products, NaturAll Club provides helpful information on hair maintenance, hosting community meet-ups and fostering online communities to facilitate encouragement and growth.
Focus: Concussion Technology
What they do: Established by Jessie Garcia, Tozuda develops affordable and reliable concussion awareness solutions. The company’s sensors react to forces in any direction within milliseconds of impact, withstanding regular helmet use and minor impacts while indicating when a hit is potentially damaging. Tozuda’s impact sensors make athletes aware of when they should be evaluated by a medical professional, preventing users from exacerbating an injury when they may not know they have one.