According to Business Insider, “VCs are increasingly investing in startups based in states other than California” — states, that is, with developing tech scenes, strong educational systems and “emerging startup sectors.”
And states, like Pennsylvania, are expected to benefit.
The keystone state, the coal state, the steel state, the oil state, the quaker state — a state of many nicknames — all underscoring the entrepreneurial spirit and industrial prowess that is Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Tech Scene
Cities throughout Pennsylvania are driving innovation by providing a strong sense of community, relatively low cost of living, culture, mountains, 140 miles of shoreline — the list goes on and on. The products highlighted here are headquartered in cities throughout Pennsylvania including:
- Philadelphia and neighboring cities Exton, Horsham, Malvern, Trevose, Radnor, King of Prussia, Bryn Mawr, Berwyn and Chalfont
- Pittsburgh and neighboring cities Bridgeville and Canonsburg
- Scranton and Wilkes-Barre
Notably, both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have just made the short list of the top 20 contenders for Amazon’s second headquarters location.
Morgan Berman, CEO of MilkCrate, told G2 Crowd, “Part of why Amazon is likely to pick [Philadelphia] is, despite our challenges as a city, we have a lot of amazing assets including our food scene, arts and culture community, our affordable and historic housing and easy access to waterfronts and other natural outdoor areas. Overall, you can have an amazing urban life for less money.”
Let’s take a closer look.
It’s no wonder that Philadelphia is in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters location as its expertise is expanding and reputation growing.
According to Ethan Bresnahan, co-founder of Boost Linguistics, “To date, the Philly scene has been defined by the ‘meds and eds’ and why wouldn’t it?” We have some of the best universities and most innovative and cutting-edge hospitals in the country. I think the next few years will be defined by a diversification of the types of startups you see in Philadelphia — it’s already happening with the next generation of startups on the rise.”
Philadelphia is bustling with innumerable startups, funding opportunities from venture funds such as Dorm Room Fund, and educational opportunities from universities like Drexel and its Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.
Since 2010, Philadelphia has experienced “466 funded IT companies, over 660 deals valued at over $11.3 billion, over 250 merger and acquisition deals valued at $10.2 billion and over 400 funded deals valued at over $1.1 billion,” according to Metro.us.
The local impact economy is also thriving. According to ImpactPHL, Philadelphia was “the first city to offer special tax credits for sustainable businesses.” Philly also lays claim to being the home for B Lab and B Corp, and to hosting a thriving chapter of Investors’ Circle.
“The launch of ImpactPHL as a hub for the impact economy is no coincidence,” Berman said. “Social entrepreneurship is becoming the fastest growing startup sector in Philly.”
In 2016, the Huffington Post ranked Philadelphia No. 5 in the top 10 cities for tech citing “rockstar” companies, average rent and high quality of life — with the distance to both mountains and beaches all within an hour’s drive.
Philadelphia’s tech employment has been steadily increasing since 2009, along with an increase in population among people ages 25-34, reports CBRE. Meanwhile, according to Glassdoor, three Philadelphia companies — SAP, Power Home Remodeling and BAYADA Home Health Care — were ranked among the best workplaces in the U.S. and Europe. Meanwhile, SAP, Comcast and Goodway Comcast have ranked among the best workplaces for women in 2017.
With all these high marks, Philadelphia seems to have figured a few things out. More than 70 companies headquartered in and around Philadelphia are listed on G2 Crowd, and that number is bound to grow.
The Steel City realized its strength during the Industrial Revolution and was a key player in turning the United States into the global player that it is today. Not only is it home to seven Fortune 500 companies — including PNC Financial Services Group, PPG, U.S. Steel, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wesco International — it attracts new and established companies alike.
Google, Apple and Intel all have campuses in Pittsburgh, and Uber’s self-drivingcars are “on the road in the steel city.” Meanwhile, Ford just announced that it is investing $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based company. Ford is planning to develop virtual driver systems for self-driving vehicles to be launched in 2021.
The impact that Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science has had on the community has been far reaching. The university attracts and creates top talent, campus research projects become startups and local government provides research labs with intersections as testing ground. And don’t forget about Marion (Tank) LeFleur, Carnegie Mellon’s “roboceptionist.”
“It’s like being in Hogwarts,” Dean of the School of Computer Science, Andrew W. Moore, told the NY Times. “It’s really cool and exciting to have these glimpses of the future, and to see all these people running around and having these crazy ideas.”
According to Forbes, Pittsburgh ranked No. 21 in a list of metropolitan areas creating the most tech jobs in 2017, citing the city’s “center for autonomous vehicles” with Uber and Ford setting up shop; talent pool created by Carnegie Mellon and rise in engineering jobs (2,400); and systems design jobs (3,900). It seems that funding still has some catching up to do with the surge of tech jobs.
“The hardest part of doing business here is the lack of capital,” Joel Johnson, CEO of BoXZY, told G2 Crowd. “It’s hard to get money to develop new products or mature your company. The funding problem is ubiquitous, so this isn’t just a regional problem. But, it’s definitely a problem that the region needs to solve if it’s going to continue to be competitive.”
“Pittsburgh is ripe for experienced entrepreneurs because it is yielding,” Johnson continued. “Pittsburgh makes it easy to live because you have inexpensive housing, lots of great restaurants and many diverse and thriving communities. That makes the region attractive to talent, and it makes it much less expensive to keep it.”
G2 Crowd boasts roughly 30 companies with headquarters in and around Pittsburgh, and that number is expected to grow as Pittsburgh’s tech scene continues to boom.
Of course Pennsylvania’s tech scene is much more than Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. On a recent visit to the York-Lancaster-Harrisburg area, as part of the “Rise of the Rest” tour, Steve Case said in a news release, “We are thrilled to hit the road … to find the companies driving innovation and creating jobs across the country.” Visiting cities across the country that are on the rise, the goal of Case’s tour was to promote startups across the U.S. that are outside of the well known tech hubs.
Technology is flourishing across the state of Pennsylvania and G2 Crowd is your keystone to software reviews.
Note: Only software vendors on G2 Crowd with headquarters currently in the Pennsylvania area are included in graph.
Pennsylvania Tech Leaders on the State's Tech Scene
“Philadelphia’s tech landscape is very vibrant, new startups are emerging and city has experienced a big transformation in recent years. The speed of emerging startups is nothing close to Boston, but we see more professionals in our field and growing interest towards niche conferences and meetups. SEMrush fits this landscape nicely, but we stand out more than we blend in. Being a multinational company with 400 employees working in 10 countries ensures we have a crazy flow of ideas, autonomy to its best and we give our people maximum freedom. We’re preserving the startup-type atmosphere and at the absolute edge of technology in all departments. We don’t yet have the sleeping capsules and decorated meeting rooms, but we’re getting there.
“The software SEMrush provides helps digital marketers around the globe, now we’re a company of more than 2,000,000 users in total. We cover top trends and challenges marketers face daily – about SEO, PPC, content, social media, PR – all pillars of modern marketing that help companies thrive.” Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush
“Philadelphia has a strong and growing tech scene, and we are proud to have been a part of this community for the past 20 years. We work hard to lend an active voice to the technology advancements in the Philadelphia region, and hope to continue our involvement in the years to come.” Brandon Olson, Marketing Communications Manager at AWeber
“I’d say the most important feature of [Pittsburgh] is the intellectual capital. There are few places on earth where you can start a business in dialogue with the finest minds on earth. And, you don’t have to pay them. The regions makerspaces and co-working spaces aggregate a vast amount of intellectual might into spaces that anyone can access. These communities are rare in other places but abundant here. They produce a constant and quality cross pollination of ideas because of their relationship with the world’s best universities, like CMU. It’s that relationship between those spaces—between makerspaces and world class universities—that make this region so unique. When you combine those relationships with the inexpensive living, building a business here is a no brainer." Joel Johnson, CEO at BoXZY
“As with any tech/startup scene, the people that compose that community are what define it. Tech scenes tend to take on the personality of the cities that they’re in. A defining aspect of Philadelphia is its diversity — of thought and of background. Philadelphia has attracted a host of incredible talent to the city through its universities, anchor organizations and startups.
“The Philadelphia scene is also unique because of the commitment of the community to the city. The passion of founders and talent to build the Philadelphia community has proven to be a stronger center of gravity than the opportunities that they could find in other more established communities. Working alongside such passionate individuals, that aren’t simply passionate about their idea or business but also the community and city that they are apart of is encouraging and hard to find.” Ethan Bresnahan, co-founder at Boost Linguistics
“Philadelphia has a unique history of entrepreneurship. Our city was built (and rebuilt) by people who altered the destiny of our country centuries ago. That kind of chutzpah is baked into our culture. In terms of our current economy, our city leads the nation in its concentration of top-100 universities within a 150-mile radius. Our well-educated and workforce-ready millennial population is abundant. This makes finding employees for startups much easier. It also means more startups are being founded by these people who are less interested in long term jobs and more motivated by growth and experiential learning.
“The launch of ImpactPHL as a hub for the impact economy is no coincidence. Social entrepreneurship is becoming the fastest growing startup sector in Philly. MilkCrate is one of many companies started and based in the area that is looking to do well by doing good.” Morgan Berman, CEO at MilkCrate
Pennsylvania Tech Scene Highlights
- Philly Tech Guide is your guide to everything tech, startup, enterprise, networking and events, incubators, coworking spaces, Universities, job listings. You name it — it’s probably on the list.
- Pubforge is a tech-focused coworking space in Lancaster.
- Net Impact Philadelphia provides opportunities for Philadelphia-based socially minded individuals and opportunities to use their beliefs and skills to positively impact their surroundings.
- Technical.ly Philly connects organizations and people through news, events and services.
- ChickTech Philadelphia works towards retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing tech-based careers.
- ImpactPHL accelerates development and awareness of Philadelphia’s impact economy.
- The Candy Factory in Lancaster and Rock Candy in Lititz are coworking spaces helping small businesses grow in and around Lancaster and Lititz.
- The Innovation Collaborative is an Erie-based nonprofit organization providing resources, news and events for northwest PA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- AlphaLab is a nationally ranked software accelerator providing early stage tech companies with networking, educational and job opportunities.
- St@rtup Harrisburg provides a shared workspace, tools and resources for local startups, freelancers and independent contractors.
- NextPlex Philadelphia provides news on companies, events and the local tech community.
- A list of venture capital, angel groups, and other funding sources in Philadelphia, PA compiled by NextPlex.
- The Technology Council of Central PA (TCCP) is a hub for the advancement and development of technology in central Pennsylvania.
- StartupPHL provides information on people, places events, funding and training across Philadelphia.
- Catamaran provides mentorship and resources for early stage startups in central Pennsylvania.
- Angel List Pennsylvania is a hub for startups, job-seekers and angel investors.
- The Barra Foundation invests in innovation in arts and culture, education, health and human services that strengthens communities in the greater Philadelphia region.
- Erie’s first co-working space, Radius CoWork, provides Erie with coffee, internet, services, facilities and more.
- Rock Lititz is a production company bringing together production-based vendors and resources for the live event industry.
- PHILEBRITY is Philadelphia’s longest-running independent city blog.
- Follow Startups and Investment news from Medium including posts from Innovation Works, AlphaLab Gear, AlphaLab, and Startable Pittsburgh.
- University Science Center is a nonprofit organization providing innovators, entrepreneurs and companies with resources, programming, capital and more.
We have compiled data on the state of the Pennsylvania B2B tech scene that includes all of the top-rated products on G2 Crowd which have parent companies headquartered in Pennsylvania. Our list is ranked by user satisfaction of a company’s top-rated product. To qualify, a product was required to have at least 10 verified user reviews.
For each qualifying product, we created a company profile to recognize what that company is and does, as well as give a little insight into its history. The data relies on G2 Crowd’s more than 300,000 B2B software and services reviews, or from public data sources such as LinkedIn, Crunchbase or each vendor’s website.
Top B2B Pennsylvania Tech in 2018
With an impressive 278 reviews on G2 Crowd, Guru is both a Leader in the knowledge management category and a leader within our Philadelphia-based products. Guru is a knowledge management solution that empowers sales teams with sales knowledge, marketing assets and enablement strategies. Guru built a Slackbot to keep everyone communicating clearly and efficiently.
2. Bentley Systems
With an impressive 190 reviews on G2 Crowd, MicroStation is both a Leader on the Spring 2016 Grid® for Civil Engineering Design and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. MicroStation provides infrastructure professionals with a modeling environment for architecture, engineering, construction, and operation projects. MicroStation’s parametric 3D modeling capabilities helps users turn data into BIM-ready models.
With an impressive 50 reviews on G2 Crowd, Netrepid is both a High Performer on the Fall 2017 Grid® for Infrastructure as a Service and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Netrepid
4. SofterWare, Inc.
With an impressive 117 reviews on G2 Crowd, DonorPerfect is both a Leader on the Winter 2018 Grid® for Fundraising and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. DonorPerfect provides organizations and nonprofit sectors with fundraising, donor management, gift processing and reporting and analytics solutions. Client services provide assistance with implementation, training, professional services, support and more.
With an impressive 84 reviews on G2 Crowd, Duolingo is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Duolingo is a free language education platform providing users with science- and data-based gamified elements. Duolingo provides over 30 language lessons on Android, iOS and Windows, for schools and individual learners.
With an impressive 12 reviews on G2 Crowd, Frontline Insights Platform is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Frontline Insights Platform helps educational organizations, educators, administrators and support personnel in managing professional growth, absence and time, recruiting and hiring and special education. Features include mobile access, identity management, FERPA-compliant security, reporting and dashboards, API library and more.
With an impressive 164 reviews on G2 Crowd, SEMrush is both a Leader on the Fall 2017 Grid® for SEO and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. SEMrush provides users with over 30 tools and reports to improve online marketing. Analytics reports including organic, advertising and keyword research, display advertising, backlinks and product listing ads, provide advertising strategy solutions.
With an impressive 10 reviews on G2 Crowd, ChannelApe is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. ChannelApe provides multi-channel e-commerce solutions for the footwear and apparel industries. Features include detailed logs and reporting, increased turnover, EDI consolidation, microservice APIs and more.
With an impressive 10 reviews on G2 Crowd, Mobiniti is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Mobiniti provides mobile marketing solutions to help customers engage with their clients’ brands through SMS. Features include mobile keywords, auto responder, scheduling, mobile wallets, automation, click-thru filtering, custom fields and more.
10. Clarivate Analytics
With an impressive 81 reviews on G2 Crowd, EndNote is a leader within our Philadelphia-based products. EndNote is a reference management software that manages bibliographies and references. This solutions streamlines the research process by providing a single reference library, storage and sharing options, automated bibliographies, online access and more.
With an impressive 41 reviews on G2 Crowd, Qlik Sense is both a Leader in the Winter 2018 self-service business intelligence category and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Qlik Sense provides analysts, teams and global enterprises with cloud-ready data insights. Features include interactive analysis, data visualizations and access from any device.
With an impressive 286 reviews on G2 Crowd, AWeber is both a High Performer in the email marketing category and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. AWeber is a global email marketing service provider helping businesses automate their marketing emails. Features include email newsletters, drag and drop editor, HTML templates, email automation, tagging and more.
With an impressive 44 reviews on G2 Crowd, JazzHR is both a High Performer in the applicant tracking system category and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. JazzHR is a customizable applicant tracking system and recruiting software. Features include job postings and syndication, offers and e signatures, reporting and compliance, and interviews and assessments.
With an impressive 37 reviews on G2 Crowd, UpContent is a both a High Performer in content marketing software category and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. UpContent helps businesses streamline their marketing process. Features include topic creation, content sorting, social media integration, team collaboration and more.
With an impressive 25 reviews on G2 Crowd, Vertex Cloud is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Vertex Cloud provides any sized organization cloud-based sales and tax automation solutions. Features include calculations and returns, consumer use tax, exemption certificate management and integrations.
With an impressive 36 reviews on G2 Crowd, Energage is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Energage combines AI technology, employee feedback and expert guidance to help businesses improve their workplaces. The company is certified by the nonprofit B Lab as a Certified B Corp, meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.
With an impressive 46 reviews on G2 Crowd, Linode is both a High Performer on the Grid® for Infrastructure as a Service and a leader within our Philadelphia-based products. Linode is a virtual private server provider that offers nine datacenters in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe. This solutions provides features such as two-factor authentication, rescue mode, scaling, cloning and more.
With an impressive 44 reviews on G2 Crowd, Listrak is both a High Performer in the marketing automation category and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Listrak uses AI technology to provide companies with marketing insights. Features include customer data collection, AI-driven campaigns, social lead acquisition, social engagement and more.
19. Sherpa Software
With an impressive 14 reviews on G2 Crowd, Discovery Attender is both a Winter 2018 High Performer on the Grid® for eDiscovery and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Discovery Attender is an electronic search and discovery solution that helps businesses streamline the data location and production process. Data can be located, extracted and secured from Office 365, MS Exchange, Sharepoint, compressed files, emails and more.
20. Graphite GTC
With an impressive 14 reviews on G2 Crowd, Graphite GTC is both a Winter 2018 High Performer on the Grid® for no-code development platform and a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Graphite GTC provides businesses a platform and integrated tools to help users build web applications. Features include multi-currency and multi-language support, automated generation, integrated debugger, cloud deployment, service API, testing manager and more.
With an impressive 12 reviews on G2 Crowd, Postmark is both a High Performer in the transactional email category and a leader within our Philadelphia-based products. Postmark is a transactional email software that helps businesses manage all of their webapp transactional emails. This solution provides customers with insight, API, templates and more.
22. Slash7 LLC
With an impressive 12 reviews on G2 Crowd, freckle is both a High Performer in our transactional email category and a leader within our Philadelphia-based products. Ideal for small teams, organizations or enterprise companies, freckle tracks time and invoices clients. Features include hourly backups, unlimited projects, expense tracking, project sync, easy export, and more.
With an impressive 85 reviews on G2 Crowd, SkillSurvey is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. SkillSurvey provides businesses with online reference checking solutions to improve hiring. Features include online reference checking, passive sourcing and digital credentialing.
With an impressive 17 reviews on G2 Crowd, Club OS is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. Club OS provides fitness businesses with sales and marketing solutions. Features include lead acquisition, automated follow-ups, scheduling, text messaging, email marketing and reporting.
With an impressive 19 reviews on G2 Crowd, SentricWorkforce is a leader within our Pennsylvania-based products. SentricWorkforce helps businesses streamline their HR and payroll processes. Features include employee self-service, onboarding, mobile, recruitment, benefits, payroll, attendance, talent, reporting and ACA.
Other B2B Pennsylvania Tech Companies
While we recognized only the 25 best-reviewed software exports from Pennsylvania, there are still an abundance of other B2B tech companies impacting the region’s tech scene. Here’s a rundown of other Pennsylvania B2B software companies with their founded dates and total funding.
|Alpha Payments Cloud||Alpha Payments Cloud||11||2011|
|Altitude Marketing||Altitude Marketing||33||2004|
|Artisan Mobile, Inc||Artisan Mobile||15||2010|
|Astea International||Astea FieldCentrix||212||1979|
|Blaser Software||Totally Unattended Kiosk||n/a||2007|
|ClickStream||ClickStream Bulk Query Keyword and Topic Research||n/a||n/a|
|CRM Science||CRM Science Professional Services||14||n/a|
|Data Management Internationale||WebDocs||17||n/a|
|Drishti Soft Solutions||Inside Sales Box||279||2003|
|EXTOL International||EXTOL EDI Integrator||88||n/a|
|Frontline Education||Frontline Insights Platform||548||1998|
|Haydle||Haydle Enterprise Q&A||2||2013|
|InfoGenius, Inc.||AlertBot Website Monitoring||9||1999|
|iQ Media Group LLC||iQ media||55||2010|
|KioWare Kiosk Software||KioWare Kiosk Management||9||1991|
|Matthews International Corporation||Brandimage||923||1850|
|MRP||Delta Marketing Cloud||544||n/a|
|NextGen Healthcare||NextGen¨ Healthcare||2283||1994|
|Orbit Software, Inc.||BusBoss||22||1998|
|Pineapple Payments||Payline Data||5||2016|
|POS Prophet Systems||POSExpress||6||2007|
|PrintMail Solutions||Integrated eStatements||73||n/a|
|Sherpa Software||Discovery Attender||21||2000|
|True Image Interactive||True Image Interactive||8||1999|
|TrueCommerce||Nexternal eCommerce Platform||172||1995|
|Unisys||Unisys Security Solutions||20191||n/a|
|WebpageFX Inc||WebpageFX Services||85||1997|
|WizeHive||WizeHive Grants Management System||29||2008|
For any questions about the methodology or data included in this piece, or to request that your Pennsylvania B2B tech company be added, please reach out to Editorial Team Lead Jakub Rudnik at email@example.com.