This is Innovation That Matters in Philly

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Once driven by the presence of large corporations, Philadelphia now has a burgeoning startup economy as well.


Philadelphia's reputation as a big corporate town is now being transformed by a new entrepreneurial spirit.

Philadelphia is known for a lot of things. American history. The cheesesteak. Passionate sports fans. Rocky Balboa.

But it’s also quietly become a hot place for startups, with a flurry of new entrepreneurs, helped along by a strong sense of connectivity with major corporations and the city government.

We learned this at that final stop on our tour of the rising startup economies, as part of the Innovation That Matters project with 1776. The visit to Philly came after stops in the “New South” with Raleigh and Atlanta, the West Coast with Los Angeles and Seattle, the Mountain West with Denver and Salt Lake City, and the Great Plains with Kansas City.

Philadelphia, like other cities on our tour, has succeeded in making its economy more dynamic, more diverse, and more conducive to creating the jobs of the 21st century

Our roundtable discussion in the city was hosted by Benjamin’s Desk, a co-working space that has worked to provide startups not only with resources, but also opportunities to connect with key players to help their businesses get funding, find partners, and grow.

The discussion in Philly featured great insights from startups, major corporations including Comcast, and angel investors who have chosen to stay put rather than flock to Silicon Valley, Boston, or New York.

We’re looking forward to producing the second edition of our Innovation That Matters report, due out in May, where you can read in-depth summaries of our city visits and take a deep dive into data on the startup economies in each location.