How Philly stacks up against America’s top cities for tech startups

Philadelphia was snubbed in a recent USA Today article that ranked the top 10 cities for tech startups.

The rankings, based on data from the National Venture Capital Association, measure the amount of venture capital invested in area startups in 2011. NewsWorks was supplied with more current data, which also includes investments from the first half of 2012.

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Venture capital investment by metro area
The top 50 metropolitan areas with the highest venture capital investment by census MSA code from 2011 through the 1st half of 2012. Larger circles = higher investment. Click a circle for details. (Source: The MoneyTree Report by PwC and NVCA based on data from Thomson Reuters. Interactive map by Todd Vachon for NewsWorks)

Philadelphia was snubbed in a recent USA Today article that ranked the top 10 cities for tech startups.

The rankings, based on data from the National Venture Capital Association, measure the amount of venture capital invested in area startups in 2011. NewsWorks was supplied with more current data, which also includes investments from the first half of 2012.

The local headline: Philly isn’t a top gun, but it’s still a contender.

The region ranks 14th in terms of total venture capital invested. Tenth in terms of deals completed.

“We have this tremendous opportunity and we haven’t quite yet reached our potential,” says Emily Mendell, NVCA’s vice president of communications. (Though the trade group is based in Arlington, Va., Mendell lives and works in the Philadelphia area.)

The rankings are topped by Silicon Valley (San Francisco/San Jose), Boston and New York — with numbers that dwarf Philadelphia’s.

Smaller cities, such as Austin, Seattle and Washington, D.C., also beat out the City of Brotherly Love.

Still, Mendell says, Philly remains a player. 

“Silicon Valley will always be Silicon Valley; Boston will always be Boston,” she says. “But that being said, Philadelphia has always been a contender for the top 10. 

“No one is going to be ‘the next Silicon Valley’ despite everyone wanting to say that they are.”

Mendell says investments in Philly’s tech scene are growing, complementing more established sectors such as health care and the life sciences. Still, she says, the region has a long way to go if it wants to rival the nation’s top venture capital destinations.

To jump up in the rankings, Mendell says the region needs more local venture capital firms that can help seed-stage companies flower into something more.

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