Blackboard Founder Michael Chasen Speaks at Start Up Grind Philadelphia

Start Up Grind Philadelphia Chapter President Mike Maher (left) Interviews former CEO and Blackboard founder Michael Chasen (right).

Start Up Grind Philadelphia Chapter President Mike Maher (right) Interviews former CEO and Blackboard founder Michael Chasen (left).

PHILADELPHIA – Have you ever sat five feet from a someone who built a company out of nothing and then sold if for $1.7 billion? I did last night.

Michael Chasen (39), founder and former CEO of Blackboard, was the key-note speaker at last night’s Start Up Grind event hosted at Benjamin’s Desk in Center City Philadelphia.  Chasen sat with Start Up Grind Chapter President, Mike Maher, and told told the story of taking a company from five people in a brownstone in Washington D.C, to 3,000 employees and a value of over one billion dollars.

I arrived at the building located at 1701 Walnut Street just before 6 p.m.  I navigated through the under-construction entrance and squeezed into an elevator with an assortment of young professionals, all eager to make sure we made it to the event on-time.

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The Good and Bad of Philadelphia Jobs

Philadelphia, Pa.  – Just three weeks ago Jasmine Payoute and I undertook the task of covering the niche job market here in Philadelphia.  At this point in time I would like to take a quick minute to look at the job market as a whole and the good or bad happenings as of today.

GOOD

Reported by Natalie Kostelni of The Philadelphia Business Journal, the company RevZilla.com will be brining 60 new jobs to its office in the Naval Yard, you can read the full story here.  What’s an important take away from this other than the 60 jobs that are being added, is the growth and success of the Navy Yard as a growing business center.

Francis Hilario, also of The Philadelphia Business Journal, is reporting 1 in 5 Philadelphia workers are looking to change jobs, for the full story read here.  The important take away again is that if workers are looking to change job means that there are jobs available.

BAD

If you are out of work and have been out of work . . .you are out of luck.  Recently U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, Pa(R), voted NOT to extend unemployment benefits for those who are out of work.  This action is taking place at a time when the region has been hit hard by harsh weather conditions; causing families to incur additional energy, food, incidental and repair costs.  For more related content click HERE or HERE.