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Innovation & Job News

Innovation in 2011 stretched beyond tech to retail, media and civic engagement

Innovation in Philadelphia: it's not just all about tech. Government, retail, media and the way we work and live made major strides forward in 2011.

The University of the Arts' Corzo Center for the Creative Economy funded arts entrepreneurs this year, and businesses like Little Baby's Ice Cream, Kembrel, Gritty City Beauty, LevelUp and ReAnimator Coffee are just a few examples of the retail revolution underway in Philadelphia. Storably and Inhabi launched to re-imagine rentals. Milkboy Coffee expanded from Ardmore to Center City, and made plans to move its recording studio downtown as well.

Crowdsourced civic change is a major trend in Philadelphia's innovation efforts. We were named a Code for America city the second year in a row; programs like Open Access Philly and Change By Us live at the intersection of technology and civic engagement, with government stewardship by Jeff Friedman. Adel Ebeid arrived to lead the city's newly formed Office of Innovation and Technology in increasing broadband penetration.

TEDxPhilly, Young Involved Philadelphia, Philly Tech Week, PhillyStake, the Philadelphia Geek Awards and IgnitePhilly mixed business with pleasure, merging crowds and companies in festive settings.

Gaming and gamification continues to trend; local efforts include Cipher Prime, Port 127, Play Eternal and networking group PANMA.

Incubators and coworking spaces surged, with Indy Hall making expansion plans for K'House, Philadev's Musemaka, OpenDesksStartup Therapy, and Novotorium in Langhorne.

In media, Wharton Publishing went all digital; Ryan Seacrest opened The Voice studio at CHOP; G Philly, Hidden City's Daily and Generocity launched; WHYY's Newsworks grew; and if it was relevant to technology, Technically Philly covered it all this year, never missing a beat.

Writer: Sue Spolan
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