I’m Moving To Philadelphia :)
//…What are you doing there, Mitch?
I’ll be an associate community manager for WeWork working between the Northern Liberties & new location that’s coming on Market St. WeWork is a co-working space and community for people who love what they do. I’ll be living near center city just on edge of Chinatown.
My job is basically to work with freelancers, startups, and remote teams for larger companies and makes sure they’re happy working at WeWork. A big part of my job will be to plan events and meet people. There’s other stuff too, but I’m excited to be apart of building a startup community again.
//…But wait I thought you were doing that Nametag thing.
Oh, I am.
But when you’re a college grad with no savings and student loans and whisper “I hate the suburbs” when you fall asleep at night, you need some income. My job at WeWork is to basically make sure young professionals (and founders) are happy — there’s surprisingly a lot of overlap.
I’ll be working on Nametag on my nights and weekends, and still have big plans for it, but WeWork is a perfect opportunity to get on my feet and start jogging ahead.
//…What’s the tech and startup scene like there?
It’s not a “Tier I” or “Tier II” startup ecosystem like New York, SF, or Boston, but it has components of it.
Dream It, for example, has their HQ there for their Edtech and health accelerator programs, and First Round Capital has an office in Philadelphia too.
Based on some conversations I had, it sounds like some of the problems they face as a startup community are that they’re so close to NYC it often makes more sense to just move there instead, given the resources and network in NYC. It also doesn’t have enough Angels cutting checks to early-stage companies, and (like a lot of Pennsylvania) there’s a bit of an old-guard and traditional feel and culture that slows-down innovation.
I’m more interested in seeing how things look in person. The city definitely has a ton of momentum and felt good to spend time in when I was there for a few weeks last summer. There’s a ton of opportunity to break out and help construct key parts.
//…Why Didn’t You Just Get A Job In Chicago?
Chicago’s business environment is very traditional and B2B-focused. That’s not a bad thing, but given I’ve started a consumer-facing tech company, it’s not really a great fit. There’s also very few young people starting companies here and it’s hard for people to give you a chance without proving yourself in an over-the-top way. That was just my impression.
Chicago is really awesome. I probably could have found something I liked here. I do love Chicago for what it is, and my family & friends here.
But, it makes so much more sense, given my goals, to be out on one of the coasts. Maybe I’ll be back.
//…What are you excited about?
Using my first paycheck to buy a bike on Amazon. Meeting new people. Being able to go back for a Penn State football game this fall (go state, beat Pitt).
The opportunity to help other founders and grow and caputre momentum for my own company at the same time. To drink in the same pubs as Ben Franklin and John adams did. Really, all of it.
//…Can I come visit?