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  • Writer's pictureBen Franklin 4 PA

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Ranked Among the Top Global Startup Ecosystems

By Ryan E. Glenn, Director of Statewide Initiatives

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

We are well aware of Pennsylvania’s potential for innovation and economic prosperity at Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Every day we work with some of the brightest minds in the commonwealth and help them bring their game-changing ideas to market.

But even with that knowledge firmly established, we never tire of having the communities we serve recognized as being some of the best places in the world to build and grow a company.

Recently, a new report from research firm Startup Genome ranked Pittsburgh the 23rd Top Emerging Ecosystem globally, and Philadelphia the 28th Global Startup Ecosystem. The rankings came as Startup Genome looked at more than 275 regional ecosystems across the world for comparison, focusing on factors such as startup growth and activity, innovation and research, capital availability, talent and support for companies, and more.

The report ranked Philadelphia ahead of international hotspots like Hong Kong, Vancouver and Munich, while Pittsburgh was ranked ahead of cities such as Moscow, Hamburg and Milan, as well as respected stateside competitors like Phoenix and Tampa Bay.

Among the key findings referenced in the report:

  • Philadelphia was noted for the region’s high concentration of talent, research, experienced investors and local market reach.

  • Philadelphia’s life sciences industry was also touted as an area of significant growth, as were startups specializing in artificial intelligence and data management.

  • Philadelphia’s ecosystem saw $994 million in early-stage funding over the last two-and-a-half years.

  • Philadelphia’s ranking comes a year after the region was named the top emerging startup ecosystem in the U.S. by Startup Genome, and right on the heels of the region smashing its annual venture capital funding record just halfway through 2021.

  • Pittsburgh has created $5 billion in ecosystem value and has seen $180 million in total early-stage funding over the past two-and-a-half years.

  • Pittsburgh's median Series A funding round reaches $3.4 million, and its average software engineer salary is $81,000, both surpassing the global figures of $3 million and $44,000, respectively.

Of particular note, the report lists Pittsburgh’s median seed round at just $75,000, compared to a global average of $480,000. Not only does this demonstrate the incredible return on investment Ben Franklin and Innovation Works provide to the commonwealth, it also showcases how much competitors are spending to drive innovation-based economic growth and provides an enticing glimpse of how increased economic prosperity can potentially enjoy with additional investments in the type of work undertaken by Ben Franklin.

While we’re incredibly proud of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia being recognized as international destinations for entrepreneurship and innovation, we’re not ready to rest on our past success.

Pennsylvania remains poised to grow its innovation-based economy by utilizing existing resources like Ben Franklin Technology to their full potential, and by continuing to make investments like the $14.5 million we saw in the 2021-22 General Fund budget. Now more than ever the competition for tech talent and the next big innovative breakthrough remains intense. Reports like the one issued by Startup Genome spotlight the positive results we can achieve in the commonwealth when we all work together. Now we must build upon the promise and potential we’ve unlocked by continuing to make innovation-based economic growth a share priority in Pennsylvania.

Click here for more in-depth coverage of Startup Genome’s findings and the amazing work being done in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.


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