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September 23, 2021

Philly among the top 30 cities worldwide for new companies, Startup Genome says

The research firm bumped the city up 15 spots on its latest rankings

Business Startups
Startups Philadelphia Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Startup Genome ranked Philadelphia No. 28 on its 2021 list of the best global cities for startup companies.

Philadelphia's tech talent, funding access and strong life sciences and data analytics scenes has made it one of the top cities in the world for startups, according to Startup Genome's latest rankings. 

The research firm ranked Philadelphia as No. 28 among more than 275 "startup ecosystems" worldwide, bumping it up 15 spots from last year's rankings. Startup Genome evaluates cities based on six factors: performance, funding, market reach, connectedness, talent and experience, and knowledge. 

Philadelphia recorded one of the largest jumps in the rankings, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. The city's best scores came in the market research, talent, performance and funding categories. 

"Philadelphia's notable acceleration to a top 30 global ecosystem demonstrates our momentum as a region and shines a spotlight on our ecosystem's rare combination of investor activity, diverse talent and ingenuity," University City Science Center CEO Tiffany Wilson told

Philadelphia startups raised $994 million in early stage funding, much higher than the global average of $548 million. Startup Genome estimated the city's ecosystem value to be $18.8 billion, also higher than the $13.68 billion global average.

The research firm cited several other factors to Philadelphia's climb, including its attraction to millennials. Millennials are relocating to the city at 1.5 times the national rate. The city offers a lower cost of living than other east coast tech hubs, like New York City and Washington, making it an attractive place to establish startups. 

"its many academic institutions turned out more than 25,000 tech graduates between 2015 and 2019, and continues to attract a young talent pool with millennials comprising almost 28% of Philadelphia's population," Startup Genome noted. 

Last November, the city established its Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative, a $500,000 investment to retain Black and brown students and expose them to entrepreneurship opportunities. 

In 2020, venture capitalists invested $1.8 billion in 221 deals in the city, with an average disclosed round value of $8.1 million. More deals were announced this year, including GoPuff's $1.15 billion bump to an $8.9 billion valuation.

The top five startup ecosystems were Silicon Valley, New York city, London, Beijing and Boston. Philadelphia ranked No. 13 among North American ecosystems, behind Atlanta and Denver-Boulder. 

Startup Genome used survey data from 10,000 startup executives, interviews from more than 100 experts and sources like Crunchbase, Pitchbook and Glassdoor to make the rankings included in its Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

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