That was the year that was

A seed of an idea branched out

By Ken Weinstein, Founder, Jumpstart Germantown
Posted 12/30/22

As 2022 comes to a close, I am grateful for the continued growth of our Jumpstart community. 

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That was the year that was

A seed of an idea branched out


As 2022 comes to a close, I am grateful for the continued growth of our Jumpstart community.  If you’re not familiar with Jumpstart Germantown, for the past seven years we’ve provided training, mentoring, networking and financing to aspiring real estate developers to reduce blight while keeping wealth local. Our Jumpstart Program focuses on how developers can, and should, renovate and restore properties with the community in mind, not just for their bottom line.  

Jumpstart Germantown’s success has inspired other communities to replicate our model. In 2022, Jumpstart training programs successfully launched in Harrisburg, Pottstown and Indianapolis, Indiana.  They join a dozen other Jumpstart programs nationwide, eight of which are in the Philadelphia area!  You can learn more about our Jumpstart programs at 

Locally, our Jumpstart Germantown Training Program, which includes 16 hours of instruction and assignment of an experienced mentor, graduated more than 200 people this past year, which brings our total number of graduates since 2015 to 1,375.  The interest and passion for our training program has not waned.  Even with the current market situation, we continue to see a steady number of training program applications. And this year, we were finally able to gather together in-person for several outdoor networking events, and look forward to more in-person get-togethers in 2023. While I’m thankful for the ability to continue training virtually over the past couple years, we look forward to moving our full training program back to in-person in 2023.

Starting in January, we’ll also re-introduce our free in-person Jumpstart Developers’ Network speaker series, while keeping in place a monthly online webinar series (known as JUMPinars).  I know the power and impact of being able to converse, learn and network face-to-face and am eager for our Jumpstart community to be able to connect in person once more. 

The Jumpstart Loan Program is arguably the most impactful part of our community development model.  We are offering what traditional banks cannot - providing financing to aspiring developers, at below market rates, while educating them every step of the way. Though market conditions this year have proven challenging for new, relatively inexperienced real estate developers, we continue to see enthusiasm and resilience within our Jumpstart community. Jumpstarters know there’s no shortage of blighted properties in need of restoration, and the need for naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) continues to rise. 

With our loan program, borrowers identify a blighted property and borrow up to 85% of the total project cost to purchase and renovate.  After completion, the borrower either sells to a homeowner or rents it out to tenants. This past year, we were able to provide financing to 46 Jumpstarters to renovate homes in Philadelphia.  Since we began Jumpstart, we’ve made 333 loans totaling $40 Million in financing for purchasing and renovating formerly-blighted properties. 

A couple years ago, we began a partnership with Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and together we created the Property Sourcing Lottery.  We’ve held three lottery rounds, and 45 lucky Jumpstart grads got the chance to purchase a vacant, deteriorated PHA property and use the Jumpstart Philly loan program for renovations. Once the home is restored, Jumpstart graduates will sell the home to a low-income home buyer at a fixed affordable price.  This is an innovative model that removes blight, provides economic opportunities for new, local developers and results in long term homeownership!  We look forward to other communities replicating this public/private partnership model. One of the most exciting achievements of 2022 was seeing the renovation of all 10 homes in round one completed and eight of the homes sold!  

Community-minded redevelopment, like that taught by the Jumpstart Training Program, provides homes to families while maintaining the fabric of our community by preventing demolition.  We are improving the community, one house at a time and one person at a time and are excited to continue this work with the Jumpstart community. 

We’re ready, willing and able to work together to reduce blight, build wealth locally, and encourage a healthy mix of affordable and market-rate housing. We welcome local residents who are community-minded and committed to blight removal and creating more quality, affordable housing.  We invite interested individuals to learn more about our training, networking and loan programs at 

Jumpstart is not just a program, it’s a movement.