Philadelphia Accelerator Fund (PAF) is a nonprofit loan fund created in 2019 to invest in affordable housing and equitable neighborhoods for Philadelphia. PAF provides flexible financing options for affordable housing developers and works to increase access to capital for historically disadvantaged groups, with a focus on Black and Brown developers.


Octo was hired initially to develop the brand for PAF and design/build a website to create awareness around the new funding initiative. The website needed to inform visitors about PAF’s mission and convey what the fund offers for both investors and developers in the Philadelphia area. As the project evolved, our work included the addition of a website portal, where interested users are able to navigate through informational trainings and apply for PAF loans.


PAF serves both investors and developers. With two distinctly different audiences, the primary challenge in developing PAF’s brand and website was to articulate their mission and complex product offerings in a simple, understandable way. There is also a loan stipulation that applicants must be applying for a development project in the Philadelphia area only. Octo’s task was to ensure we use the appropriate tactics to reach the correct audiences effectively. Our efforts needed to be targeted, inviting and informational.


Octo began our work with PAF when the nonprofit was first started. Alongside another firm, we conducted surveys and interviews with investors, developers, and other key stakeholders to understand how best to position PAF and portray their brand. After completing primary and secondary market research, Octo created a Market Challenge Plan to for PAF’s success in the affordable housing space.

This included: 

  • Primary and secondary research findings
  • Brand strategy and positioning recommendations
  • An industry review
  • Analysis of demographics
  • Target audience pain points
  • Outreach tactics to be implemented during launch

The brand, including the logo, sub-brands, and messaging, was then developed based on our findings and approved plan. From there, Octo created PAF’s website. The final step of our work was the creation of the website portal that allows users to go through product trainings and apply for appropriate funding. The completed portal consists of applications, and videos, as well as a digital toolkit to enable Philadelphia-area businesses and users to spread the PAF narrative.


We were thrilled to provide PAF with the branding, website build, and portal development that provides the framework and opportunity for future outreach efforts. Octo positioned PAF as a humanized brand whose true objective is to empower historically disadvantaged groups. Octo’s work enabled PAF to launch successfully, build awareness around the brand, and begin to provide funding for historically disadvantaged developers.


836 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147