Best Cities to Start a Business in Pennsylvania

Last updated: March 19th, 2024

Pennsylvania’s 2016 GDP of 724.9 billion places it sixth in the United States. The state has long been known as an economic powerhouse, claiming home to fifty Fortune 500 companies. Yet, until recently, the Keystone State has held a reputation as a manufacturing and finance hub for large corporations rather than an ideal location to start a business.

But this is no longer the case. Young tech hopefuls–many under thirty—are making themselves at home in Pennsylvania’s cities, drawn in by the cheaper lifestyle compared to New York City or Silicon Valley. These innovators have built an intimate startup community focused on developing software and novel phone apps with features that others simply haven’t thought of. The climate for starting a business in Pennsylvania has never been better.

These nascent entrepreneurs have issued a wake-up call to potential investors: Gust, a well-known and frequently used resource for beginning-stage investment placed the state at number five on a top ten list of fund seekers in the latter half of 2016. Investors have taken notice, and funds have begun to filter in to finance this fledgling startup scene focused on innovation.

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Only cities with over 50,000 inhabitants are reported in the results. Some data had to be interpolated to the county level and extrapolated to all the cities in the county. We concentrated on the following metrics to obtain our ranking: Cost of livingBest state for businessUnemploymentKauffman index, and Universities.

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