PHILADELPHIA—The City of Philadelphia today announced a new partnership that will lead development for Keyspot Innovation and Technology Centers (KIT Centers) and the Philadelphia Fund for Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, two community innovation-focused initiatives formed with technology partner Verizon. These new initiatives were created to enhance digital equity opportunities for families, residents, and entrepreneurs challenged by the digital divide.

KIT Centers will reimagine the use of the City’s traditional public computing centers, known as Keyspots. These centers throughout Philadelphia serve as inclusive and safe locations to provide residents with access to technology and the Internet, and offer higher connectivity speeds to allow for more innovative programming and activity. Verizon will also support the KIT Centers by refreshing their technology and providing updated devices.

The Philadelphia Fund for Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (Philadelphia FLIE) will focus on creating a dynamic ecosystem across the city that advances collaborative opportunities and programming for under-represented minority entrepreneurs and innovators to secure funding, guidance or expertise for their ideas. This initiative complements the City’s existing Innovation Fund which is focused on departmental programs and efficiencies.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Verizon to launch the KIT Centers and the Philadelphia Fund for Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “These foundational initiatives create unique opportunities for helping communities and residents leverage technology-driven resources and programming which is needed now more than ever. ”

“We are excited about the opportunity to lead and develop innovative, tech-driven and community-focused approaches to promote digital inclusion in Philadelphia,” said Eric Fitzgerald Reed, Director of Public Policy at Verizon. “Supporting the mission of the City’s Digital Equity Plan is particularly critical during this pandemic and it is significant that we continue to encourage creative thinking and inclusive solutions that address digital inequities post-pandemic. Verizon appreciates the opportunity to partner with the City through the efforts of the Digital Literacy Alliance and community stakeholders that are united in ensuring that Philadelphia residents, students, and future technologists have access to the digital tools of the innovation economy.”