13 November 2008

The Founder Factory: Where Phillypreneurs Came Together

I attended a very cool event today called Founder Factory at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Hosted by Philly Startup Leaders and the MAC Alliance, the Founder Factory was a sold-out, one-day conference where wisdom from Philadelphia-area business leaders was shared with other Phillypreneurs.

Highlights from the presentations included successful area entrepreneurs such as Lucinda Holt, Steve Goodman, and Josh Kopelman.

Steve Goodman, the legendary lawyer from Morgan Lewis, offered an historical perspective of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Philadelphia area since he arrived in 1969, much of which he helped foster. Goodman did for Philly what Fred Wilson did for New York in his keynote at Web 2.0 in September.

Josh Kopelman, founder of Half.com and First Round Capital, assayed the current financial situation and looked forward to mid-2010, when he feels the logjam in venture funding will have to be deployed and things may start flowing again. He also used the example of some great world monuments many of which, including the Eiffel Tower and Golden Gate Bridge, were being built during earlier recessions.

His conclusion? Great things happen in the face of adversity. Just what many of us who are starting things now needed to hear.

Serial entrepreneur Lucinda Duncalfe Holt offered 5 things every entrepreneur needs to think about, focusing especially on people, flexibility, and execution. (Lucinda and Josh also had the best slide decks I've seen in a long time. The key: pictures, not a lot of text -- oh, and it doesn't hurt to have a liberal dose of Hugh Macleod cartoons.)

In addition to the stories shared by these and other entrepreneurs, they also offered feedback to three Philly-based startups in a "Fishbowl" setting, including search engine DuckDuckGo, DropCard, and GoBYO.com.

A fantastic event that, along with DreamIt Ventures, IgnitePhilly, and other recent events, demonstrates that there is something percolating in Philly.

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