5 Reasons Startups Are Setting Up Shop in Philadelphia
When we first brought our technology company to the U.S. from India in 2011, finding a home for our North American headquarters involved a long and exhaustive search for locations across the country. Ultimately we arrived on Greater Philadelphia – Wayne, PA, specifically — and looking back a few years later, I’m confident we made the right choice. Here’s why:
Fast-growing companies live here: Greater Philadelphia is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies, and 136 businesses on the 2015 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Pennsylvania overall boasts the eighth highest number of fast-growth companies with 195.
Philly’s “small” big city culture, abundance of top-rated schools and universities, and affordable housing also make it an ideal place to live and work. In fact, Fast Company included Philadelphia among its top 20 most livable cities in the world for work-and-play balance.
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A close-knit startup community: Philadelphia is a large enough market to compete in a global economy, yet small enough where entrepreneurs will find a close-knit community and support group of business partners and colleagues to foster collaboration and innovation.
According to a February 2015 Popular Mechanics article, Philadelphia’s thriving startup ecosystem sets it apart from other cities across the country. The article says: “[Philadelphia] consists of shared office spaces, incubators, accelerators, and access to funding and other support from universities, non-profits, and local and state governments. All of these things work in concert to help people turn innovative ideas into businesses.”
The article is right, entrepreneurs have access to a growing network of incubator, multi-tenant, and co-working spaces across the city. Incubators and advocates like DreamIt Ventures and Philly Startup Leaders give entrepreneurs access to important networking opportunities and venture capital.
For instance, when we arrived here, we joined the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Ideas X Innovation Network (i2n) — an alliance that supports emerging growth companies by leveraging the assets of business partners and academic institutions while creating a network of physical and virtual resources. i2n has been an invaluable partner to us. They helped us every step of the way, from finding our new office space to introducing us to our lawyer and accountant.
Read more at PhillyMag.com