Greater Philadelphia’s business community experienced tremendous growth in 2023 – including highlights like becoming the home of two Nobel Prize winners, bringing in more than $1.78 billion in investment funding, and receiving two federal hub designations in our 11-county region. This year’s accomplishments raised the region’s national profile and supported the local economy, helping organizations of every size and sector to succeed.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the Chamber), through Select Greater Philadelphia (Select), has focused on telling the powerful story of our region as a global leader – in business, education, life sciences, health care, innovation, entrepreneurship, and more – as part of our business attraction and expansion efforts.

Here is a roundup of inspirational stories from our region in 2023, supporting our message that Greater Philadelphia is a premier place to live, work, and do business to achieve your vision: 

A Talent Pool that is Growing and Staying

Greater Philadelphia’s talent pool continues to strengthen and diversify. This year, Campus Philly partnered with the Chamber, the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, and Philadelphia Works to release a report analyzing the region’s workforce. The study found that the number of college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds in the region increased by close to 200,000 individuals over the past two decades, and approximately half of those reside in the city itself, which saw a 155% increase.

This growth leads the nation and significantly outpaces the national average of 62%. The Chamber’s talent work supports this trend. 

Greater Philadelphia is home to approximately 130 post-secondary schools graduating top talent, 50% of whom choose to stay in the region after graduation. These figures bode well for organizations looking to recruit and develop young talent, especially for those in the region’s burgeoning life sciences sector. Greater Philadelphia ranks third among U.S. metropolitan areas in life sciences program completions.

To learn more about why talent relocates, remains, and thrives in Greater Philadelphia, check out Select’s “Discovery Starts with Me” series.

The Highest Scientific Honor

The birthplace of cell and gene therapy is the home to two recent Nobel Prize winners in the Physiology of Medicine.

Katalin Karikó, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of Neurosurgery at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and Drew Weissman, MD, Ph.D., the Roberts Family Professor of Vaccine Research at the Perelman School of Medicine, were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in recognition of their discoveries focused on nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

Supportive State and Local Policy

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro began his tenure promising to streamline opportunities for businesses in the Commonwealth. The year kicked off with two executive orders, with the first establishing a one-stop-shop to support businesses looking to grow and foster innovation – the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity within the Governor’s Office and the Economic Development Strategy Group.

The second executive order was signed to streamline Pennsylvania’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes and begin a comprehensive review of how long it takes agencies to process applications and how workers and businesses apply online. Now, If applicants don’t receive a response by a certain date, the agency responsible will refund their application fees.

In November 2023, the City of Philadelphia elected our 100th mayor, Cherelle Parker, who will take office in January 2024. Read more about the ways the Governor and Mayor-elect are working to help businesses and create jobs.

Federal Spotlight on Greater Philadelphia

The Biden-Harris Administration designated the Greater Philadelphia region with two research hubs this year, putting the region’s top-notch talent, technology and innovation scene, collaborative business community, and exemplary livability in the national spotlight.

The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) and the Greater Philadelphia Region Precision Medicine Tech Hub will officially call Greater Philadelphia home, the announcements made just ten days apart. These investments position the region for significant growth and opportunity, driving long-term positive economic impact for companies in Greater Philadelphia. 

Strong Flow of Investment

Despite a national slowdown in venture capital investment, the Greater Philadelphia region successfully raised $1.78 billion in the past three quarters of 2023 across 271 deals.

Standouts include ArriVent Biopharma’s $155 million Series B funding, Dispatch Biotherapeutic’s $113 million raising, and VintaBio’s $64 million deal.

Philadelphia institutions also received robust NIH funding with 1,822 awards amounting to $897.5 million to advance scientific research –  an increase of $7.6 million compared to 2022.

As the national and local economy continues to grow and strengthen, the Greater Philadelphia region will expand by building on its core strengths and the new opportunities created in 2023.

For more stories about companies and developments that are driving the economy in the Greater Philadelphia region or for more information about locating or expanding here, visit the Select Greater Philadelphia website or contact James Medaglio, Director, Business Attraction and Expansion, at [email protected].