Miami Dominates in Innovative Coworking Real Estate

Miami Dominates in Innovative Coworking Real Estate

By: Sara Warden

2 min read NOVEMBER 2019 — The traditional office space is changing fast. Hot-desking came first, and now with more pressure to recruit highly skilled personnel, workers are increasingly able to command perks such as home office and telecommuting. According to Fundera, telecommuting has grown by 40% in the last five years and employers offering the benefit save around $44 billion per year in total. The drive to home office also created a new real estate niche – coworking spaces – and that niche is now driving real estate growth in Miami.

“Coworking tenants continued to dominate absorption activity in Miami for the second quarter in a row as they continue to lease significant footprints in buildings throughout the market. Out of the seven largest lease transactions year-to-date, five were coworking tenants, with WeWork leading the number of coworking companies,” said Donna Abood and Michael Fay, Principals and Managing Directors-Miami at Avison Young in an article written for Rebusiness Online.

According to a special report by Yardi Matrix, coworking spaces accounted for one-third of leases over the last 18 months. Miami comes in third in terms of metros with most shared space as a percentage of real estate stock, at 3.5% –behind only Manhattan and Brooklyn. In the last 10 months, Miami has added around 1.1 million square feet of coworking spaces.

But one of the most highly-leveraged companies in the coworking arena is WeWork, a company that underwent a failed IPO attempt in the last year and wiped out around 80% of its value in the process. The company stretched itself too far, playing the Amazon tactic of taking on huge losses to undercut and wipe out the competition, but without having Amazon’s clout.

Alan Patricof, chairman emeritus of venture capital firm Greycroft and an early backer of Apple, does not believe the coworking space is a bad idea, but rather that WeWork simply bit off more than it could chew. “If you want to be a publicly traded company, you should act like a public company,” Patricof said in an interview with TechCrunch in September, adding that the board members “were all seeing the pot at the end of the rainbow.”

But the global value of coworking spaces is estimated at $26 billion, with growth of 6% expected in the United States to 2022 and 13% elsewhere. Despite WeWork’s errors in judgement, the market is there for a $49 billion valued unicorn, and Miami offers huge opportunities to those investing in the right way. According to Pandwe Gibson, founder and president of EcoTech Visions, a coworking space for manufacturing businesses, these spaces need to be constantly offering the next new thing. 

“Entrepreneurs in America don’t just need a WeWork. They don’t just need a desk. Entrepreneurs want to make stuff,” she told Moguldom. The Miami-based startup has 52,000 square feet of space and approximately $3.2 million in public and private investment to scale the business, while it carries out its first raise.

It doesn’t stop with manufacturing space. ShareMD recently spent $33.15 million to purchase a building in South Miami and one in Coral Gables in which to set up co-working spaces for doctors. “Because of the demographics in Florida, we are aggressively trying to expand in the metropolitan areas,” said Easton & Associates Vice President Elliot LaBreche, representing ShareMD in the deal in an interview with The Real Deal.

The attraction of this concept is accessibility to a doctor without the pressure to sign new clients, LaBreche added. “If you have a doctor, and their primary practice is in Fort Lauderdale, but they have some patients in Miami and West Palm, but not enough patients to support their practice, they can join the ShareMD network and use our offices as satellite offices.”

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.avisonyoung.com/

https://www.yardimatrix.com/

https://www.wework.com/en-GB

https://www.greycroft.com/

http://ecotechvisions.com/

https://wesharemd.com/

http://theeastongroup.com/about/

 

Spotlight On: Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners

Spotlight On: Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 —  Energy efficiency and sustainability are hot topics of conversation across all industries and organizations, public or private. Numerous organizations are now embracing eco-friendly alternatives to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce operational costs. During the last few years, full-service energy engineering and consultancy firm Evolution Energy Partners has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals around utility spend, energy consumption and long-term energy management. Chuck Hurchalla, president of Evolution Energy Partners, recently spoke with the Invest: Philadelphia team about the rapid growth of Philadelphia’s energy sector. 

What types of services or areas of business are seeing the most demand in Philadelphia?  

 There is high demand in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors for our energy efficiency and energy procurement services. For example, commercial real estate is one of our largest and continuously growing customer segments, particularly hospitality, office, multifamily, senior living and data centers. Regardless of industry though, we address inefficiencies across our customers’ mechanical, HVAC and lighting systems and we also help our clients significantly improve their internal processes. 

 

As a professional design-build energy consultancy, customization based on customer needs and the specific property’s energy profile are key. For example, a stellar guest and resident experience is paramount for our hotel and apartment complex owners, respectively. Our considerable experience in these verticals and our customization abilities allow us to implement a large number of fast payback, customized projects that greatly improve light quality, increase HVAC efficiency, and improve air quality for the benefit of ownership and their guests and residents.

 

To what do you attribute the rapid growth of Philadelphia’s energy sector?

 The opportunities in Philadelphia’s energy sector continue to grow rapidly for a few important reasons. First, businesses and institutions are increasingly recognizing the need to establish and then accomplish sustainability goals to address their corporate environmental concerns and the environmental concerns of their customers. 

 

Second, organizations’ decision-making processes around energy have historically been, and still are, based on the economic benefit derived from those decisions. As utility costs and related charges continue to increase, the financial bottom lines of businesses and institutions are becoming more and more sensitive to utility rates and energy consumption. Understanding that the utility cost center is one of the larger line items on an organization’s income statement, it becomes obvious as to why more and more companies and institutions are focusing on increasing energy efficiency and reducing their energy spend.

 

Lastly, Philadelphia is quickly moving forward with various energy regulations that will require property owners to benchmark their energy usage and to improve their energy efficiency. One benefit of recent Philadelphia-related regulations is the adoption of C-PACE financing. C-PACE, or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, financing allows a property owner to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with no up-front cost. The property owner then pays the costs back over an extended period of time through a voluntary property tax assessment, which leads to increased project adoption and improved cash flow for the property. 

 

What makes Evolution Energy Partners unique?

 Evolution Energy Partners is unique in the industry because of our ability to evaluate a facility’s energy cost center from an owner’s perspective in order to positively impact the three critical areas of commodity prices, energy consumption, and long-term energy management. This approach has become even more powerful and more critical to our customers as environmental sustainability has become increasingly integral and imperative to our customers’ shareholders and to society as a whole. 

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Evolution Energy Partners: https://evolutionep.com/ 

How Philly Universities Are Getting Ready for Jobs of the Future

How Philly Universities Are Getting Ready for Jobs of the Future

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read OCTOBER 2019 — The higher education sector is one of Philadelphia’s main economic engines. As technology and innovation disrupt every industry, Philly’s higher education institutions are revamping their curriculums to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. The Invest: Philadelphia team recently met with college leaders to explore their efforts around workforce readiness. 

 

Many higher education institutions are focusing on emerging fields and professions to meet the needs of local and international businesses. “There’s no question that professions like technology, medical, and financial services lead to gainful employment in today’s society,” Aaron Walton, president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, told Invest:

“A lot of our strategic planning aims to reshape our academic focus toward the jobs of the future. We’re talking about becoming a 21st century model institution in which there’s significant emphasis on the quest for excellence in academics, character and social responsibility. We are placing particular emphasis on the medical services arena,” Walton said. 

According to Pew’s State of Education in Philadelphia 2019 report, 28% of Philadelphians 25 or older have at least a bachelor’s degree — a lower percentage than in many U.S. cities — and 16 percent of Philadelphians have completed some college credits but do not have a degree. 

Aside from including new, innovative programs many schools are also reimaging the learning environment. “Twenty-first century learning has evolved dramatically, and so, too, have our learning spaces. Starting with our Business and Public Management Center, which we opened two years ago, the Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons, and renovations such as Anderson Hall, West Chester University’s buildings are now being built to reinvigorate the learning environment based on the technological tools that students need to be successful,” Christopher Fiorentino, president of West Chester University, told Invest:. 

Due to the major presence of biomedical and pharmaceutical companies in the Philadelphia region there is a need for graduates in the life sciences and biomedical engineering arena. Widener University is helping students to advance into high-paying jobs through its health sciences, engineering and sciences programs. 

“Widener’s robotics engineering undergraduate program launched in fall 2018 and we opened a new state-of-the-art robotics laboratory with funding from a generous donor. We have also introduced a new occupational therapy doctoral program, which will be housed in a completely renovated building that will open in fall 2019,” said Widener’s President Julie E. Wollman in a recent interview with the Invest: Philadelphia team. 

Community colleges are also embracing innovative academic programs to provide qualified talent to the local pool. That is the case of Delaware County Community College, which is developing new methods to meet the needs of its students and integrating apprenticeship programs with regional business and industry partners.

“Technology has changed the way that we deliver education. We have an extensive Advanced Technology Center, which helps students navigate opportunities in areas such as manufacturing,  welding, transportation, logistics, automotive, advanced technology, skilled trades and others. Every program that we offer is infused with technology. That is what is changing the landscape; every career involves technology,” Joy Gates Black, president of Delaware County Community College, told Invest:. 

It is projected that 75 million to 375 million workers globally may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills, according to a McKinsey & Company report. It is also expected that 8 to 9 percent of 2030 labor demand will be in new types of occupations that have not existed before.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania: https://cheyney.edu/ 

West Chester University: https://www.wcupa.edu/ 

Widener University: https://www.widener.edu/ 

Delaware County Community College: https://www.dccc.edu/ 

Charlotte Rising to Tech Challenge Related to Emerging Workforce

Charlotte Rising to Tech Challenge Related to Emerging Workforce

By Felipe Rivas

2 min read October 2019 – The business world was abuzz earlier in October when American conglomerate Honeywell broke ground on its new global headquarters at Legacy Union in Uptown Charlotte. Honeywell, a diversified engineering and technology giant, is the latest example of a large company flocking to the Queen City looking to expand and grow, and local leaders are doing their part to ensure success. As the economy in the Charlotte Metro Area continues to diversify, educational and economic development leaders are working to equip the workforce to thrive in the tech-based jobs coming to the area.  

Historically, Charlotte has been the second-largest banking capital of the United States, but that is broadening, said Queens University of Charlotte President Daniel Lugo. “The most exciting part is the growth of the technology sector. Charlotte is a hotbed for technology right now,” Lugo told Invest: Charlotte. “Those with strong technical skills, with an understanding of how to use data in powerful ways, how to visualize data, and how to use data to predict outcomes are going to have huge advantages,” he said. 

The university is placing a keen emphasis on producing talent that has a robust understanding of coding and data analytics. “The city and area is creating tech jobs at double the national rate and we want to be at the forefront of working with those businesses,” Lugo said. 

That means taking a community-first approach in its efforts to empower talent with tech-based skills. Its program, Digital Charlotte, aims to reduce the area’s digital divide by connecting community members to the internet and increasing their web literacy. “We are perfectly positioned to be the preeminent private university of the city and of this region, building a talent pipeline to meet the needs of a growing city’s changing economy,” Lugo said.   

In Gaston County, 30 minutes away from Charlotte, economic development leaders are already experiencing spillover from Charlotte’s growth and preparing its workforce for incoming manufacturing and tech-based jobs. “For Gaston, it’s all about the Charlotte market, tapping into it and knowing what their needs are,” said Gaston Regional Chamber CEO Steve D’Avria.

“The biggest set of industries coming in are the advanced manufacturing sectors because our labor is more affordable,” D’Avria told Invest: Charlotte.       

The chamber is focusing on education by supporting accelerated college programs for Gaston County’s high-school students, as well as programs at Gaston College centered on business and information technology career tracks and certificates. “Education has been one of our focuses,” D’Avria said.  

Connecting students and workers to jobs to practice their tech skills while they are in school is another chamber priority. “Around 60% of our members are small businesses, so we’re a connector of resources in the community,” D’ Avria said. “We’re also expanding into the co-working space in Gastonia. In Belmont, we have a program called Gaston Tech Works, and it’s all technology-focused.”

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.queens.edu 

 http://www.gastonchamber.com

Healthcare Sector Rapidly Expanding in Orlando

Healthcare Sector Rapidly Expanding in Orlando

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 — Orlando’s population has increased rapidly over the last few years, making it one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the United States. As the city continues to grow, local healthcare organizations are immersed in numerous expansion and improvement efforts.

 

The region’s main health providers have been expanding their partnerships, free-standing emergency rooms (ER), specialized centers and hospitals. The Invest: team recently met with Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth Central Florida Region, who pointed out some of the fastest-growing areas of service and care in Orlando. 

“We have added quite a number of free-standing locations with doctors and emergency services in areas of need, instead of having to build a whole hospital. We are growing in our academic work around community cancer research. The cardiovascular institute is seeing high demand as well. We are also redefining our primary care model to include virtual care, which will allow patients to connect via video or text messages with their doctor,” Tol said.  

AdventHealth opened the Waterford Lakes ER on Sept. 27, which is its fourth free-standing ER in the area. The hospital also announced plans to build an 18,400-square foot, 24-bed hospital-based emergency department in Port Orange for adults and children, and has the Oviedo ER set to open in the next few weeks. AdventHealth has also partnered with​​ Moffitt Cancer Center to improve cancer care and establish a clinical research facility and chemotherapy/immunotherapy infusion program at AdventHealth Celebration.

Orlando Health is also deploying a high amount of capital in expansions and new developments. The $3.8 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization recently opened Orlando Health Emergency Room and Medical Pavilion – Lake Mary. The 25-room ER can manage a majority of emergencies, from minor trauma to broken bones. The adjacent medical pavilion will offer several specialties including, pulmonology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, urology, orthopedics, general surgery, cardiology, and cardiac rehab. The second phase of this campus is already in development with the construction of a hospital expected to begin in the spring of 2020. Orlando Health has a total of six free-standing ERs either under construction or completed in Central Florida. 

The community-based network of hospitals also opened the Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center last summer, bringing advanced cancer treatment to residents of Osceola County.

Tennessee-based healthcare provider HCA Healthcare also opened its third free-standing ER in Millenia on Sept. 18. According to an Orlando Business Journal article, HCA plans to build a 12-bed emergency department in Davenport, which is expected to open in 2020. HCA has also partnered with the University of Central Florida to build the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, which is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

As Orlando’s population continues to rise and the healthcare sector remains highly competitive, it is expected to continue to see a high amount of healthcare-related construction and development in the region. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

AdventHealth: https://www.adventhealth.com/ 

Orlando Health: https://www.orlandohealth.com/ 

HCA Healthcare: https://hcahealthcare.com/ 

Spotlight On: HBK CPAs & Consultants, James Bartolomei, Principal

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Technology is disrupting every industry in the world. From healthcare to banking and finance, numerous companies are reinventing themselves to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. In the accounting and finance segments, these innovative tools are rapidly transforming customer experience and data management. The Invest: Philadelphia team recently sat down with HBK CPAs & Consultants Principal James Bartolomei to get his insights about the performance of Philadelphia’s financial sector.

In what ways is technology disrupting the accounting and finance industry?

Technology is disrupting every industry. Innovation and technology allow companies to get creative and find ways to improve processes and, more importantly, customer experience. The biggest challenge faced by the financial industry is to improve customer experience while protecting sensitive data. To assist our clients in this area we recently developed a cybersecurity offering, which has been well-received. 

With the rapid and dynamic change in technology, businesses can be eliminated and displaced very quickly today. This represents a big challenge as the value one thought was built up in their business could vanish. This is why it is vitally important for business owners to build wealth both inside and outside their businesses. Our firm combines tax and accounting services with our wealth management services to help deliver on this objective and minimize risk for our clients.

What are the services and industries where you’re seeing the most demand?

We have seen increased demand from clients looking for our advice about the effects of the federal tax reform, especially because of the substantial changes in the privately-held business area. Clients are concerned that their accountants and tax advisers fully understand the new tax law and how it impacts them. There are significant changes to the way small businesses are taxed under this new law.

Philadelphia’s real estate and biotech sectors are growing. We have numerous clients in the real estate sector and we have seen a substantial uptick in activity and development, especially in rental properties. In the biotech sector, we have seen a high amount of activity in the medical technology segment.

What is your outlook for Philadelphia’s accounting and finance sectors?

We are continuing to see growth in the Philadelphia market. We are relatively new to the market and we are expanding our client base and attracting good, young talent. We have hired a number of recent college grads over the last two years with great results. Philly is one of the strongest and youngest markets in the United States and the outlook is great for HBK and the local financial services sector. 

 

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

HBK CPAs & Consultants:  https://www.hbkcpa.com/

How e-commerce is feeding Orlando’s booming retail market

How e-commerce is feeding Orlando’s booming retail market

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — At times when big retailers such as Sears, Charming Charlie’s and some malls are struggling to survive, Orlando’s retail sector continues to thrive. The city’s rapid population growth and robust economy present an ideal environment for retailers. Rather than having a negative effect on brick and mortar stores, e-commerce has had a positive impact in Orlando’s retail market, according to industry leaders who recently met with the Invest: team.

“We are seeing a blend of both online retail presence and brick and mortar, and that is a trend that we will continue to see for the next two to four years. Retail is going through an evolution, and that is not necessarily a negative thing. We will see significant changes over the next few years,” SRS Real Estate Partners Managing Partner and Market Leader for Orlando & Tampa Cindy Schooler, told Invest:.

Colliers International’s 2019 Q2 Central Florida Retail Market Report showed the area has a 5.3% vacancy rate. The report points out that Orlando’s regional growth has fueled investor demand for retail product to an all-time high. Rental rates have increased to $50 per square foot in Central Florida’s top retail corridors, while Orlando’s tertiary markets have increased in tenant demand. 

“There are two specific factors to consider in terms of retail performance: the number of people moving and vacationing in the area. If those two numbers are up, then there will probably be an up retail market. In Orlando, those numbers keep going up and the retail market is doing very well. In Central Florida, we have healthy demographic growth and a big tourism industry that is making the retail sector substantially bigger,” John Crossman, CEO of Crossman & Company, told Invest: in a one-on-one interview. 

Crossman explained the impact of “the halo effect,” which happens when an online retailer opens physical stores and, most times, their online sales go up. Similarly, when an online retailer closes physical stores, their online sales go down. 

“When customers buy something online and return it to a physical store, they typically end up spending more money in the store. In the Orlando area, we’re not seeing people radically closing stores. We are seeing a combination between their physical and online presence,” he said. 

An example of the e-commerce growth in Orlando is Kroger and Ocado’s second customer fulfillment center. Earlier this year, Kroger Co. and UK-based online grocery partner Ocado Solutions confirmed the location for a 375,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lake County. The center will supply online customers only and its expected to create 506 jobs and add $63 million in annual economic impact. 

Orlando’s tourism sector also provides a particular advantage for businesses to test new products, according to Schooler. “We are a test field in the area because of the tourist market. A lot of entrepreneurs bring concepts here and test their brands because of the diversity in the area. That allows clients to test lines that they would never be able to test in traditional retail markets,” Schooler said. 

According to Colliers 2019 Q2 retail report, approximately 980,571 square feet of construction was underway by the end of the second quarter. This is the highest amount since before the Great Recession. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

SRS Real Estate Partners: https://srsre.com/ 

Crossman & Company: https://www.crossmanco.com/ 

Colliers International: https://www2.colliers.com/en 

Miami A Bridge for US-Latam Tech Investment

Miami A Bridge for US-Latam Tech Investment

Writer: Sara Warden

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — It seems that more and more US cities are being labeled tech hubs every day, but Miami-based companies see a unique opportunity in the state that cannot be provided elsewhere. Instead of locking themselves into one market, Miami can provide startups a launch pad into the vast untapped Latin American market, and tech startups are flocking to the city in droves to take advantage of these opportunities.

Possibly the most famous is SoftBank Group, a Japanese investment firm that has set up roots in Miami to gain access to Latin America’s infant venture capital market. SoftBank has pledged $5 billion to the Latin American market, with some of that amount already invested to date. In fact, by the first half of 2019, these kinds of investments in Latin America have almost reached the $2.4 billion invested in all of 2018 – and it could not be done without Miami.

“This is the kind of capital that has never been seen before in Latin America,” Andre Maciel, a managing partner at SoftBank Group told Bloomberg.

About 70% of Miami’s population is composed of Latinos, providing the city with a unique workforce that can capture the attention of untapped Latin American entrepreneurs from a US base. “Part of our secret sauce is that we’re a city built by immigrants. Miami is a very young city, but we have the grit and resiliency of those people. Miami is a startup in and of itself. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, you can make it here,” Felice Gorordo, the CEO of eMerge Americas told Forbes.

But Miami is not just a base for investment in other regions. It also has the credentials that make it one of the best places to invest in the US. It comes seventh nationally for venture capital investments and in the first half of 2019 alone, around $1.54 billion was invested in South Florida tech companies.

SoftBank also made a multimillion-dollar investment at the end of 2018 in ParkJockey, making the company Miami’s first unicorn and one of the most valuable parking companies in the world. Building on the sharing economy model, ParkJockey allows landlords to rent parking spaces to large-scale companies like Uber and Lyft. The reception to this technology says “a lot about the ability to build a business in Miami and take it to significant size,” founder Ari Ojalvo told the Miami Herald.

“Miami has a tremendous tech talent pool, and we’re fortunate to be located in this burgeoning tech market,” said Taunia Kipp, says Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications at Kaseya, an IT management software company, on Refresh Miami.

Kaseya is one of the most recent success stories for a Miami-based tech firm. Last month, the company attracted a $500 million investment from San Francisco-based investment firm TPG. Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said in a press conference that the Miami growth will not stop as the company heads for an IPO within the year. “We want to open up people’s eyes to the talent that is here—and that it can be scaled,” Voccola said.

Another IPO that’s on the cards could be Buenos Aires-headquartered firm Technisys. In May, it closed a $50 million funding round. And when it wanted to establish a footprint in the United States, Miguel Santos, one of the three founders told Forbes that there was no question that Miami should be the location. “We are here to stay and the plans are big. The next stage is probably a public offering in say, three to four years,” he said.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://group.softbank/en/

https://www.technisys.com/

https://www.kaseya.com/

https://www.parkjockey.com/

https://www.emergeamericas.com/insights/

Spotlight On: Bret Perkins, Vice President, External & Government Affairs, Comcast Corporation

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — The Comcast Technology Center just received one of the development industry’s biggest awards: the 2019 Urban Land Institute’s annual Global Awards for Excellence. The Philadelphia building won the recognition along with 11 other projects from around the world. The $1.5 billion development was designed for namesake tenant Comcast, which has 4,000 employees in the tower. The American telecoms company has had an enormous impact on Philadelphia’s economy and the Invest: Philadelphia team sat down with Comcast Corporation Vice President of External & Government Affairs Bret Perkins to explore the company’s impact and future plans for the Philadelphia region.

What impact will the Comcast Technology Center have on Philadelphia’s economy over the long term?

Comcast has had an unwavering commitment to the city of Philadelphia for over 55 years, and the addition of the Comcast Technology Center to our campus is the latest example. We have approximately 4,000 engineers, software developers, and technologists developing next-gen products in the Comcast Technology Center, and we are recruiting and trying to retain world-class technology talent here in Philadelphia. The fact that we have invested and built this campus in Philadelphia is a statement unto itself and gives a sense of what we think about this city, which is our home. This is a space where we can recruit, retain and grow a talent base to build world-class products. 

The Comcast Technology Center is also the new home of NBC10 and Telemundo62, providing them a state-of-the-art studio to deliver the best news to the Philadelphia community.  The top floors are occupied by Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, which will offer five-star accommodations with magnificent views, fantastic restaurants, and will deliver an unparalleled experience…all contributing to and supporting the success of Philadelphia.

 

How does Comcast support the local startup community?

LIFT Labs and our team that does entrepreneurial engagement is our front door to the startup community around the country. LIFT Labs in Philadelphia is particularly unique because we have a space that is really intended to be a convening spot for the startup and entrepreneurial community. It’s about us working with the startup community and entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses, but also for us to learn from them. We also have the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, which is designed to support connectivity, media and entertainment startups. Our inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator took place in summer 2018, and eight out of the 10 companies that participated ended up with some sort of proof of concept partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal. The participants get to meet with mentors and coaches who are world-class in everything they do. This a way for us to help build this ecosystem and partner with startups. 

 

What impact will the 3,500-seat esports arena have on the city? 

Comcast Spectacor and The Cordish Companies recently announced they will build the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the country dedicated to esports. It will also be the home of the Philadelphia Fusion, our Overwatch League esports team. This is a great development for the city. It will bring additional energy and become a hub for esports. There are a number of businesses that have built up around esports, such as N3rd Street Gamers, an amateur and semi-pro esports network. Our dedicated esports arena is part of a huge investment we are making in the Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes the $250 million renovation of the Wells Fargo Center; the creation of Pattison Place, an $80 million, Class-A office tower; and Fusion Arena, which is a $50 million investment. That is a significant amount of investment in Philadelphia and another vote of confidence in our home city.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Comcast Corporation: https://corporate.comcast.com/ 

LIFT Labs: https://lift.comcast.com/ 

Comcast Spectacor: http://www.comcastspectacor.com/  

Fusion Arena: https://fusionarenaphilly.com/