We’ve all seen it. It’s the cool thing now. When movies need a hip young lad or lady to have a cool job that’s totally not stuck-up — a role that used to fall to journalists and architects — BOOM, throw ‘em in a start-up. They don’t require suit jackets. They’re all staffed by cool, young, attractive people. And they are all headquartered in cool city lofts with exposed brick walls. Well, except in Philadelphia (but what about ATHLEAD?).
Granted, the start-up scene grows and shifts quickly, but according to The Atlantic Cities, Philadelphia is the only city of the eleven they looked at (the top 11 metro areas for venture capital investment in 2011) that still has a majority of its start-up scene kicking off in the suburbs:
Predominantly urban zip codes accounted for just over half of venture capital investment in Chicago in 2011, more than 60 percent in Washington, D.C., and sprawling Dallas, and roughly three quarters of the investment in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. Urban zip codes accounted for more than 80 percent of venture capital investments in San Diego, Seattle, Austin, and San Francisco. Nowhere is this urban shift more apparent than in New York, where all but one of the metro’s top ten zip codes for venture capital investment could be found in midtown or lower Manhattan. The proportion of venture capital investment centered in suburban zip codes is especially low (below 20 percent) in western cities like Austin, Seattle and San Diego, at least in part a function of the more generous history of suburban annexation throughout the 20th century. Of the metros we examined, only Philadelphia has a lingering suburban orientation to its start-up scene.”
And Philadelphia’s urban vs. suburban numbers are astronomically skewed in the other direction. The smallest urban share other than Philadelphia’s 15.6% is Chicago’s 54.0%. But we’re going to look at this data and choose to believe things have changed a bunch since 2011 (plus, we actually believe they have). Also, we don’t want to believe that some of these start-ups are setting up shop in … Delco.