"GoodCompany Ventures is such a good idea," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told the crowd gathered on the porch of Building 101 at the Navy Yard. "I wish I'd thought of it."
GoodCompany Ventures, an incubator for businesses with social impact, launched today with a virtual ribbon cutting by Mayor Nutter. "We'll all close our eyes and imagine the ribbon being cut, because that's how business gets done these days," the Mayor quipped.
All kidding aside, Mayor Nutter seemed genuinely pleased today to be welcoming GoodCompany Ventures -- and the ten start-up social enterprises that will be working at the Navy Yard over the summer -- and recognized how this effort supports his overall goals to make Philadelphia the nation's greenest city.
He pointed to development at the Navy Yard, which he called "Center City South," an area the size of Center City, which has been redeveloped over the past ten years or so since the U.S. Navy closed its base there.
"I hope these companies will enjoy their time here at the Navy Yard this summer," said Pennsylvania Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) head Peter S. Longstreth, "And that they will want to move in as tenants as they expand their businesses developed here."
The Navy Yard is home to more than 80 companies employing 7,500 people, including Urban Outfitters and Tastykake, in 5.5 million square feet of renovated space. PIDC, is the developer of the Navy Yard and a partner in GoodCompany Ventures.
"GoodCompany Ventures is designed to demonstrate that you can make money and do good," said Jacob Gray of Murex Investments and a partner and co-founder of GoodCompany. "And I think the companies we have lined up for this first cohort exemplify that goal."
The GoodCompany Ventures incubator will provide guidance and support to a group of hand-picked social entrepreneurs each summer. Through group sessions, one-on-one mentoring, and providing access to pro bono services, GoodCompany will help businesses at varying stages of their development.
BlackGold Biofuels and the GoodCompany Ventures launch were featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday: read it here.
Other companies in the inaugural cohort of the incubator include BLOX, a partnership between Philadelphia developer Onion Flats LLC and modular building manufacturer Landmark Building Systems Inc; Cyrus-XP LLC, which is developing a computer information platform for the growing long-term care market; and Math Foundations, which was launched by Angela McIver, a former math teacher, to provide math-remediation consulting to schools and job-training programs.
More on GoodCompany Ventures can be found here: GoodCompany Ventures