Elevating Philadelphia's Startup Community with Kiera Smalls

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Philadelphia is on the rise. We've become national sports champions, our tech and startup worlds are exploding, our restaurant scene is bomb dot com, and we've built some really amazing communities.

One such community member is Kiera Smalls, known for being the co-founder of fitness + wellness community, City Fit Girls, and the former marketing + partnerships whiz over at Indego, Philadelphia's bike share program. Not new to building communities and brand awareness through strategic partnerships, Kiera will be now taking over the position of Executive Director of Philly Startup Leaders, an organization that helps local entrepreneurs and new companies connect to resources that help them succeed from start-up to growth.

Keep reading to learn more about Kiera's vision for her new role!

Femme & Fortune: Tell us about your new role and what attracted you to it!

Kiera Smalls: I am the new Executive Director of Philly Startup Leaders (PSL). PSL's mission is to connect entrepreneurs and companies to resources that can aid in their success and growth. I wanted this role because I’ve spent the past 10+ years connecting individuals and groups to resources to help them succeed. It was an easy decision to want to carry that work over to PSL.


Femme & Fortune: What are you most excited about when it comes to this new career milestone of yours?

Kiera: I'm most excited about new opportunities for growth, networking, success stories, diversity and inclusion, and resource sharing. Philly has some amazing success stories happening across the city and on the national level, including the Nehemiah Davis Foundation’s work in West Philadelphia, Girl Develop It and their national growth model, and an increasing number of financial investments by local and national businesses of all sizes. I have the opportunity with PSL to help elevate these and other stories to ensure those connections and brands can deepen and blossom.


Femme & Fortune: Convince someone to move to Philly in the length of a tweet:

Kiera: The city of true hustle, history and helping hands. Philly is a hidden gem with some of the most amazing people - come learn, work, and play in the city of Brotherly Love. #WhyILovePhilly

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Femme & Fortune: What's in store for City Fit Girls this year and what are some of your hacks for managing multiple businesses? 

Kiera: We’ll be launching mini wellness retreats to help women unwind, relax, and recharge. We’re thinking about hosting one just outside of Philly and another one in Miami (or some place like that).

One of the reasons I’m able to manage multiple businesses & projects is because I get to do things that help me prioritize my mental health. There’s a lot of yoga, meditation, and intentionality in my work with City Fit Girls to do the things that make me happy and whole. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a separate business, it feels like part of who I am. 


Femme & Fortune: What are some of your favorite podcasts right now and some apps you can't go without a day using?

Kiera: SuperSoul Sunday, Side Hustle Pro, Masters of Scale, Nonprofits Are Messy, and The Daily are all my favorite podcasts right now. When it comes to my must-use apps, they're Headspace because daily meditation is a must!, Instagram, LastPass (I have way too many passwords to remember and this app is clutch) and Podcasts!


Femme & Fortune: What's next for PSL?

Kiera: There will be so much in store for PSL! I want it to be the go-to resource for all emerging and existing entrepreneurs and startups. I want Philly Startup Leaders to be the first thing someone thinks about when they are having a conversation with a cousin or friend who has a cool idea or tool and needs some direction. I want people to know, “PSL is the place to go to get this kind of support.”

Keep up with Kiera via her personal Instagram and Twitter, and make sure to follow City Fit Girls and Philly Startup Leaders too! The PSL Slack channel is money and a great way to stay connected in the startup scene in Philadelphia. 

About The Author


Melissa Alam is a branding jane-of-all-trades and the founder of the site you're on right now as well as a yearly conference for ambitious women. She's also 1/2 of AB Media Group, and can be found working with cool clients from all over the globe on digital and experiential projects and events. Follow her random adventures online @RingTheAlam.

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