A new Forbes magazine ranking places Philadelphia among the top 10 rising cities for startups in the United States.
Philadelphia was ranked No. 8 by Forbes and D.C.-based venture capital firm Revolution, behind cities like Columbus, Ohio and Baltimore and ahead of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Charlotte, N.C. Forbes cited Philadelphia’s convenient location — close to Boston, New York, and Washington — along with its affordability and the fact that the city has the second largest university population in the United States, as factors.
“Three-quarters of venture capital dollars are invested in California, New York and Massachusetts, with the Bay Area, New York City and Boston the main beneficiaries. But there is a developing class of cities with booming startup scenes growing even faster in many cases,” the article read.
Forbes listed biotherapeutics company Tmunity as one of Philadelphia’s major venture capital deals. Five of Tmunity’s six scientific founders hold faculty positions at Penn.
In its ranking, Forbes compared the 30 largest metro areas — excluding the 10 that garnered the most venture capital funding, such as Silicon Valley and New York City — with data given by PitchBook, Moody’s Analytics, and Kauffman Foundation. Some of the 13 metrics included were costs of business and living, education levels, college presence, entrepreneurship rates, working-age population growth, and venture capital investments.
Penn is known for being one of the top schools for startup entrepreneurs. A Crunchbase News study earlier this year found that as a university, Penn produced the fourth-most CEOs of startups that had raised at least a million dollars in the past year. An earlier Crunchbase report also revealed that Penn produced the seventh most-funded alum-founded startups.
Wharton professor Keith Weigelt previously attributed Penn’s startup success to a campus culture hospitable to startups, with various on-campus initiatives that support business and innovation, such as the President’s Engagement Prize and the Wharton Entrepreneurship awards.
In 2017, the Weiss Tech House relaunched the Innovation Fund, a mini venture capital fund that aims to help student-founded startups. PennApps, Penn’s semiannual hackathon, attracted over a thousand students from across the world in fall 2017. In addition, the DP reported that 36 University City startups received more than $2 million in tax credits in 2017 designated for profitable startup companies.
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