How Philadelphia is Earning its Reputation as a Great City of the Future

September 30, 2015 | The Huffingtion Post by Ross Baird

We kicked off Day 2 of the Rise of the Rest tour with a sunrise visit to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, where 250 years ago a group of startup founders created the United States of America. Like Day 1’s launch at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, the day’s opening reminded us, as Steve Case often says, that America itself was a startup.

The Rise of the Rest tour convenes, celebrates, and challenges entrepreneurs in cities across the U.S. to improve society, and build great businesses that lift up their communities. And while Philadelphia has always been a cradle of innovation, from Benjamin Franklin to the Constitution, in Philly we saw how entrepreneurs can continue to help Philadelphia — and the country — continue to earn greatness.

Philadelphia: Companies solving real-world problems

As society is changing rapidly — and cities are worried about how to take care of an aging population, educate the next generation and more, entrepreneurs and market forces are increasingly leading the way.

Whereas all entrepreneurs by definition set out to solve for a problem, it was in Philadelphia that we saw founders focused on solving for problems that are directly impact people’s lives. We saw health companies such as SmartPlate improving people’s nutrition; education companies such as Scholly help students afford higher education, and community development companies such as Whose Your Landlord enable residents to have more leverage in their homes through better access to information…