There's no doubt in the minds of many people that some geographical areas are simply more startup-friendly than other regions. Local and state tax amenities, office spaces, housing starts, schools and health facilities all attract new entrepreneurs in today's fast-paced Philadelphia business environment.
Fast becoming an up and coming jewel of a business center for new startups, we'll focus on five attractive reasons for considering Philly as one of the best startup-friendly places to begin one's business journey.
-Venture Capital, Angel Investors and Incubators
-The Shipping Trade Industry and Navy Yard Expansion
-The Biotech and IT Sectors
With over 80 universities to choose from, Philadelphia proves an attractive magnet if there ever was one for business sectors, investors and students alike.
Universities such as Villanova, Penn State, Saint Joseph's, Drexel, Temple and Bryn Mawr add to the allure for drawing and relocating those entrepreneurs who are typically in their 30s.
2. Venture Capital, Angel Investors and Incubators
There seems to be an ongoing trend toward venture capital investors, angel investors and seed-grant incubator programs at every level.
Among other interesting programs found in Pennsylvania is something that goes by the name of the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership. Through this program, the government writes "seed checks" to the startup entity. Moreover, it's considered by many as one of the most prolific venture investors in the nation.
One recent company benefiting from seed money is Real Foods Works (RFW). RFW will be the recipient of more than $200,000 from the Startup PHL Seed Fund as other recipients are sure to follow soon.
3. Entrepreneurial Fellowship
Being that Philadelphia is not yet too big in size or in business recognition, there exists an amazing sense of community among entrepreneurs. A tight network of support groups is already in place to help others in other areas that would develop over time in a fledgling but growing community.
Philadelphia's proximity to New York City, its educational climate at all levels and affordable housing as compared to the New York housing market, all contribute to a promising startup environment.
4. Shipping Trade Industry and Navy Yard Expansion
Philadelphia's historical roots as a major port of entry for the continental United States is well-known. However, its prominence in modern times seems to grow as bigger and faster ship building, channeling and an exploding shipping trade develops with further plans for the Port of Philadelphia and former Navy Yard.
More than 22 new startup companies have been added to the old 1,100-acre property. With a now total of 143 companies and a labor force of 11,000 employees, major players already are in place. Among them is Glaxo Smith Kline ZSX Medical, who made an early move to the old Navy Yard.
For less well-known companies, one major bait on the proverbial hook is that there's plenty of room to grow. Iroko Pharmaceuticals, a company that launched with a handful of people, now has a projected staff of more than 200 people by the end of this year.
5. The Biotech and IT Sectors
If you want to launch a medical or health tech company, then Philadelphia is the up and coming player to consider. Having started as an experimental urban revitalization program, innovative startups today spring up from Philadelphia's University City Science Center. In total, since 2006, the Science Center has raised more than $14 million in government grants and $116 million in private capital.
The same promising outlook awaits those in the information technology (IT) sector. From web development on translating website content to providing the next generation broadband high-speed services as does Comcast, thousands are now calling Philly the place for IT environments.
Since 2009, new startups have added more that $9 billion to the Philadelphia economy and some 15,000 new jobs. For many people, an affordable cost of living and less competition help add to this city's promising outlook as a potential boom town.
Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.
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