"Philly gave us an unfair advantage. The unique combination of access to talent and customers, and the supportive community of fellow founders, investors, and leaders, has kept us one step ahead of our competition since day one."
Outside of tech circles Philadelphia may be best known as the home of cheesesteaks and Rocky, but the city is also a vibrant Life Science hub and a particularly attractive home base for female entrepreneurs. The Philadelphia metro area ranked 13th in SmartAsset’s Best Cities for Women in Tech report for 2021, and PitchBook data shows that Philly is the fourth-best place to raise capital as a woman. In 2021, more than 3,600 companies with at least one woman founder collectively received $54.8 billion, and 931 companies with all women founders collectively raised $6.4 billion. The bianual Women in Tech Summit serves this community of female entrepreneurs.
The ecosystem’s proportion of venture capital funding is growing. In 2021, Philadelphia startups closed 441 deals valued at $8.1 billion, a 299% increase on 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, $2.6 billion was invested in 90 deals across the ecosystem, while already in Q1 2022, dbt Labs closed a $222 million Series D at a $4.2 billion valuation. Local fundraising success stories include Gopuff’s $1.2 billion Series G in March 2021 and Houwzer’s $100 million debt financing round in February 2022.
University City Science Center’s Launch Lane accelerator helps startups transition from prototype to sales and customer acquisition. During 2021, 54% of companies supported by Science Center, and more than a third of Ben Franklin’s 39 companies receiving seed-stage investments in the region, were minority-led ventures , The annual Philly Tech Week events showcase innovation happening throughout the region.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Philadelphia
Diverse & Skilled Talent
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ranked among the most active seed and early stage investors in the US, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a venture development organization that helps high-growth innovative enterprises plant and nurture their roots in the Philadelphia region. The nonprofit has supported more than 2,000 companies to deliver an economic impact of more than $5 billion and over 32,000 jobs created in the Philadelphia region.
Drexel is a comprehensive global research university with a unique model of experiential learning that combines academic rigor with one of the nation’s premier cooperative education programs. Drexel is classified as “R1: Doctoral Universities” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a designation given to U.S. research institutions with the highest level of research activity. In 2021, the Princeton Review ranked Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship #12 in the U.S. for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs.
University City Science Center
The University City Science Center is Philadelphia’s premier catalyst of entrepreneurial activity, healthcare innovation, and economic growth. Established in 1963, the nonprofit has been globally recognized by The Brookings Institution as a best-in-class investor, mentor, and economic development partner for young technology companies. Working alongside industry partners and leading research and academic institutions across the globe, the Science Center has supported over 1,000 early-stage companies. Today, the mission-driven organization advances healthcare innovation from idea to the marketplace through proven startup support services and builds inclusive STEM career pathways for Philadelphia youth and adults.
Key Ecosystem Players
Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)
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