Page 21 - Guide to Greater Philadelphia
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nurturing the next generation of economic drivers
A highly educated population and access to capital infuse the region with entrepreneurial energy.
Entrepreneurship is the quintessential American dream — the opportunity to own your own busi-
ness and chart your professional course. Greater Philadelphia has created programs that encourage innovation and formed critical partnerships with area nonprofits to supply startups and young businesses with the tools they need to succeed.
A crucial element for the success of any young business is access to capital. Since 2013, more
than $1.5 billion in venture capital funding has been invested in more than 350 companies in Greater Philadelphia. It’s no wonder that the National Venture Capital Association named Greater Philadelphia a Top Ten Region for Venture Capital. On a global scale as well, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is seen as a prime destination for startups and investors alike. The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management named it among the Top 20 Global Metros by Venture Capital Investment in 2016.
A talented and educated workforce — the fifth largest among the nation’s biggest metropolitan
areas — also draws entrepreneurs to the region. Nearly 36 percent of the population 25 years and older has a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the national average. Science, technology, engineering and math firms employ more than 150,000 professionals, and the region is home to 6,600 IT-producing businesses. The region has more than 100 degree-granting institutions of higher education, and U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Temple University’s Fox School of Business as the country’s No. 1 online MBA program.
Entrepreneurs have a supportive network, too,
via key partnerships with organizations that assist with mentorship opportunities and access to capital, technical expertise, professional service providers and facilities tailored to the needs of startups.
Numerous business incubators provide necessary services for new firms, while coworking spaces offer startups office space, conference rooms and access to peer professionals for collaboration.
FUN FACT: There are nearly 70 incubators and coworking spaces across Greater Philadelphia, where entrepreneurs can learn, share and grow their ideas from concept to reality.
• Ben Franklin Technology Partners has been the leading seed-stage capital provider for more than 30 years for the region’s technology sector, investing at least $175 million in more than 1,750 regional technology companies, many of which have gone on to become industry leaders.
• At the Drexel University Charles D. Close Center for Entrepreneurship, the role of entrepreneur has moved from the fringes of the business world to front and center. Offering a bachelor’s degree and startup funding for qual- ified students, the center encourages and nur- tures ideas in a multidisciplinary environment.
• The New Jersey Technology Council provides business development, education, networking and recognition opportunities and advocacy for the state’s and region‘s technology businesses. The Council represents tech, life sciences and tech-related companies and organizations and the professional firms that support them.
• Delaware BioScience Association is a unified voice for Delaware’s thriving bioscience commu- nity, dedicated to facilitating growth of the life sciences industry, advancements in research and support for educational initiatives in Delaware and the surrounding area.
• Pennovation Works is an innovative blend of offices, labs and production space developed by the University of Pennsylvania to bridge intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives for advancing knowledge and generating economic development.
• Entrepreneurs often turn to DreamIt to make their innovative ideas come to life. DreamIt offers access to investors, a sales pipeline and a network of resources to early-stage health and education startups.
• Innovation 1313 focuses on nurturing profes- sionals and students to help them bring their ideas to life. The goal is to connect business leaders and universities to transform Wilmington, DE, into a renowned innovation center.
• StartUp PHL is a partnership between Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and the Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), offer- ing a range of programs and grants to enhance vis- ibility and connectivity of the startup community. The goal is to make Philadelphia a more attractive environment to launch and grow a business by investing in entrepreneurs who bring energy.
• Curalate plays a key role in digital commerce. The company makes easily identifiable online images for its clients to create buyer recognition and transform it into demand and sales. Curalate
has been recognized nationally for this innovative
• goPuff, an on-demand delivery firm based in
Philadelphia, is changing the way consumers shop for everyday goods. The company is essen- tially an on-the-go convenience store that allows customers to buy goods, such as ice cream, eggs, and milk, within 30 minutes any time of the day. This popular concept has helped the company expand across the country.
• Roar for Good is literally helping to save
lives by changing the landscape for personal protection. The Philadelphia company developed a wearable accessory called Athena that can
be attached to clothing and has a button that alerts up to five friends of a person’s geographic location if danger should arise.
it’s made right here
Local and global manufacturing players call Greater Philadelphia home.
Northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania boast one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing firms in the United States. This robust business sector is supported by the area’s skilled workforce, which provides essential technical, scientific and engineering expertise. About 185,000 residents are employed at the 5,500 manufac- turing companies in the region.
Strategically located in the heart of the Northeast, Greater Philadelphia is at the center of the world’s fourth-largest mega-market economy, which stretches from Boston to Washington, D.C. With its prime location and excellent infrastructure, Philadelphia is easily acces- sible, and manufactured goods are quickly and efficiently transported to ports and cities around the globe.
Because of this accessibility, numerous compa- nies have chosen this area as the location for their headquarters or regional facilities. For example, Greater Philadelphia has traditionally been a success- ful hub for chemical manufacturers. These companies have played an integral role in the long-term growth of the economy and continue to have a positive impact today. About 350 local chemical firms employ more than 26,000 workers, making the area a national leader in manufacturing employment.
To support these companies and other area firms, the Philadelphia area has expanded and improved its infrastructure to ease the transportation of natural gas and its liquid byproducts to companies that require affordable, accessible and reliable energy.
Food manufacturing also remains a vital part of the overall Greater Philadelphia economy. Firms in this sector employ more than 20,000 workers, accounting for 11 percent of the area’s total manufacturing jobs. What’s more, the area can secure fresh products from | 19

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