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What's Behind Philadelphia's Crazy New Startup Scene


Philadelphia isn’t often the first city to come to mind when people consider places to establish a startup business, but in the past couple of years, the number of startups in the area has been on the raise.

There are a couple factors behind this. 

First, in recent years, several factors have begun to align within Philadelphia that have turned it into fertile ground for a startup to put down roots and grow. And secondly, over time, new developments in technology and business have created an environment across the country and nation that’s more startup-friendly.

Whatever the reason, though, Philadelphia is entering a new era where small, startup businesses will have as more opportunities than ever to establish themselves and find success.

Philadelphia’s a prime area for tech and other startup industries to grow rapidly, but it’s not saturated yet.What is Behind Philadelphia's Crazy New Startup Scene

Philadelphia has more and more startups sprouting up every year, and it shows no sign of stopping. According to the Philly Tech Guide, there are more than 300 tech-based startups in Philadelphia.

With Philadelphia’s status as the 5th-largest city in the US, with the 6th largest metro region in the nation, the city is home to more than 100 degree-granting institutions, including five medical schools and more than 20 nursing schools. That’s ideal for startups that are looking for workers with fresh, new perspectives who are hungry for work.

The difference between Philadelphia and other cities when it comes to startups, though, is that many of those cities have been establishing their names as havens for startups for years, and entrepreneurs have started to flood those cities. Suddenly, competition for office space, business contacts, and other assets that are crucial for a startup to grow have become high. ‘

Meanwhile, the prevailing attitude in the areas have become something along the lines of, “Oh, boy, not another startup.” Philadelphia, meanwhile, is largely untapped. Startups like Stitch and Blackfynn, along with other successful Philadelphia startups, have been putting down roots here to great success lately, but there are still plenty of opportunities for success. That may not be the case a few years down the line, as people start to recognize the benefits of building their startups in Philadelphia, but right now, the area is perfectly ripe with opportunities for people who recognize them.

New tools and services are making it easier than ever to build a startup.

While building a startup from the ground up still requires a lot of work, it’s never been easier than it is now. Both long-standing enterprises along with many of the new startups that have formed offer tools that make it easier for other startups to succeed. Software-as-a-Service has become the norm for many software suites, which allow smaller companies access to powerful software suites such as Salesforce, the Adobe Creative Suite, and digital security options for a low, monthly subscription fee rather than an enormous, initial investment that most startups can’t afford.

Companies like Mazuma offer affordable accounting services to small businesses that don’t have the resources to dedicate to hiring an on-staff accountant. Startups can even test their services before making the investment, providing a free alternative to Quickbooks during the startup’s early, formative weeks.

The internet opens up a much wider marketplace to small businesses

Not only do startups have access to affordable and powerful tools as they are building their business; they are also able to reach a much broader audience. The internet can turn even the smallest startup into an international business by connecting workers to clients across the globe. It’s no longer necessary to travel halfway across the world to do business, and if startups invest in the necessary marketing and development, they can build an enormous following from anywhere in the world.

There really is no better time to start a business, and Philadelphia offers an ideal spot for those startups to grow. It’s a big city with a small-town vibe. The hectic, dog-eat-dog mentalities of the East and West Coasts haven’t set in here, meaning people are actually willing to talk to you and provide the assistance many startups need to grow and, eventually, thrive.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.


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