Philadelphia’s tech scene emerges as powerful economic force

Philadelphia’s tech scene emerges as powerful economic force
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When you think of cities that are known for technology, you probably think of the West Coast clichés like Silicon Valley and Seattle. Yet Philadelphia’s tech scene has slowly been surfacing on the national map as an emerging technology hub.

The region’s information technology industry has experienced considerable growth in the past 15 years, with an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent since 2001, exceeding the regional GDP growth rate. Skilled computer and information specialists are in good supply across the diverse business sectors that drive our region’s economy, including financial services, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing and telecommunications.

There are technology developments large and small blossoming across the 11 counties, such as Comcast’s new $1.2 billion Technology & Innovation Center, which is set for completion in Center City Philadelphia in 2018. It will be Comcast’s second flagship facility in the city, and it is expected to create an estimated 1,500 new tech jobs.

The Greater Philadelphia region is also gaining traction in the world of startup funding, rising in the rankings to sixth in the nation for the number of deals made in 2015.

Since 2010, Philadelphia has seen:

  • 466 funded IT companies;
  • Over 660 deals valued at over $11.3 billion;
  • Over 250 merger & acquisition deals valued at $10.2 billion;
  • Over 400 funded deals valued at over $1.1 billion.

To learn more about Philadelphia’s emerging tech scene, watch Select Greater Philadelphia Council’s tech feature of “Growing Greater Philadelphia,” a collaborative TV production with NBC10 about the region’s business assets and success stories.

This technology-focused episode features the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University, 3D laser scanning technology at Gilbane’s A Loft in Center City and the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus.

The Philadelphia metropolitan area has a high concentration in pharmaceuticals, R&D services, communications equipment, management consulting, and basic chemicals that gives us a competitive advantage against other regions as we continue to find new ways of becoming the next global technology hub.

Contact me at [email protected] to learn more about the region’s technology ecosystem.

Rob Wonderling is president of the Chamber of Commerce for GreaterPhiladelphia.