First Round Capital, one of the nation's most active early-stage venture capital firms, led by investor Josh Kopelman, plans to move its headquarters to a 10,000-square-foot complex in West Philadelphia's University City district, near the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.
"The arrival of Josh Kopelman in Philadelphia is a game changer," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "When one of America's leading entrepreneurs and investors sees Philly as a place of ideas and innovation, a place where those ideas can be transformed into successful businesses and jobs, and feels the need to be part of it, he sends an incredibly powerful message about what is going on in our city. Welcome to Philly, Josh. We're just getting started."
"We've begun to see more really exciting companies get their start in Philadelphia and more entrepreneurial activity at Philadelphia's universities. For me this is more than just an office move. It's a way for me to get more involved in helping local entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground, and I'm looking forward to playing a more active role in helping the current generation of Philadelphia entrepreneurs make their mark," Kopelman said.
First Round Capital, currently headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, will initially employ approximately 10 people in the Philadelphia office. Kopelman said more importantly, the facility will provide space to host five startup companies including, initially, Uber Philadelphia, Curalate, and Technically Philly. In addition, there will be space for 24 entrepreneurs to develop their concepts and event space to host educational and community events. The building at 4040 Locust St. previously was the site of the first "Urban Outfitters" retail location.
"Philadelphia is starting to establish itself as a player in the world of startups and innovation," said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. "We have no shortage of ideas in this city due to the incredible talent emerging from our colleges and universities, but too often those ideas leave in search of early-stage funding. First Round Capital's arrival in Philadelphia is a strong signal that this city, which has led this country in innovation since its founding, will continue to be a America's home for ideas, entrepreneurship and business creation."
One incentive persuading the firm to relocate into West Philadelphia was created when council members provided tax breaks for private equity investors and excluded general partners from paying certain business taxes.