Philadelphia’s Diversified Economy Highlighted at the Launch of Invest: Philadelphia 2019


January 14, 2019

City of Philadelphia Director of Commerce Harold Epps will give the keynote address at the launch of Capital Analytics’ first publication focusing on Greater Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, PA – Greater Philadelphia’s robust healthcare industry, historically strong higher education sector and focus on innovation are just some of the focal points in the first edition of Invest: Philadelphia from Capital Analytics. The 2019 edition highlights the five-county region of Greater Philadelphia, including Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties, with special focus chapters on the City of Chester and the dynamic neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s housing market is one of the hottest in the country, and the region’s real estate industry is attracting increased interest from investors both domestically and abroad, particularly in the multifamily space. Utilities and infrastructure are covered in detail as the city looks to alternative sources of energy to sustainably grow and develop. Transportation is a hot topic, with the Philadelphia International Airport continuing to expand its reach and SEPTA making improvements to help keep counties connected via extensive bus and train routes. The Invest: Philadelphia publication from Capital Analytics is a 208-page economic analysis that highlights business opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators alike looking to Philadelphia for opportunities.

The official launch of the publication will take place on January 24, 2019, at the Loews Hotel. Following a short networking breakfast, Harold Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia, will give a keynote address that underscores some of the major achievements of Philadelphia’s economy over the past 12 months. This will be followed by three robust panel discussions.

The panels will address major themes currently dominating Philadelphia’s economy: education, healthcare and innovation. The “Healing the Community: Healthcare in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Susanne Svizeny of Wells Fargo. Panelists will be Dr. Jay Feldstein of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jack Lynch of Main Line Health, Dr. Larry Kaiser of Temple University Health System and Ray Williams of DLA Piper. The “World Class Minds: Education in Philadelphia” panelists will be Craig Carnaroli of University of Pennsylvania, Guy Generals of Community College of Philadelphia and Michael Mittelman of Salus University. The “On the Cutting Edge: Innovation in Philadelphia” panel will be moderated by Mathieu Shapiro of Obermayer, and panelists will be Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Tricia Marts of Veolia, Atif Ghauri of MAZARS and John Giordano of Archer Law.

The event will be attended by hundreds of high-level guests and officials from some of Philadelphia’s key industries and economic institutions.

“Invest: Philadelphia is Capital Analytics’ first foray into the Northeast,” said Abby Melone, president of Capital Analytics. “After resounding success in South Florida and Georgia, we wanted to expand up the coast to the hidden gem of the Northeast. Philadelphia is increasing its global visibility, and we wanted help the city capitalize on that. As the most affordable major city in the Northeast corridor, Philadelphia has a great deal to offer people of all ages, from students to young professionals and from entrepreneurs to capital investors. We are excited to be a part of Philadelphia’s journey.”



About Invest: Philadelphia

Invest: Philadelphia is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Greater Philadelphia’s economy featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Philadelphia is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on Philadelphia to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Philadelphia as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive of the top economic sectors in the county including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, life sciences, education, sports, and arts culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, as well as covers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact us at:



Dynamic Offerings

By staff writer

January 2019 — 2 min. read

Miami’s higher education system is as dynamic as the city itself, and the University of Miami Business School is no exception. The school’s enrollment rate shot up 12 percent last year, and with that growth has come revamped curricula and new degree program offerings catering to international students, future sustainability officers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Given that the school is the only higher education institution in the country that offers a Spanish-language Global Executive MBA program, which is designed for professionals with experience in the field, it should come as no surprise that the school is appealing to international professionals and their families looking to further integrate themselves within the local business ecosystem.


“Many high-net-worth individuals including family business leaders from throughout the Americas have second homes in Miami,” Miami Business School Dean John Quelch told Invest: Miami when he sat down with our team. “For those working here already, we offer our new part-time Professional MS in Finance as well as our Professional MBA. We are offering students multiple ways to earn high-quality specialist or general management Masters degrees faster, better and cheaper.”

Quelch pointed to the city’s “growing entrepreneurial spirit” as a key driver of the school’s growth, and the school is wasting no time in following suit with this trend.

“We are much more integrated into the Miami entrepreneurship ecosystem than we were one or two years ago,” Quelch explained. “We have made significant upgrades to our business plan and hope to soon launch a Canes Angel fund that will be directed at startups involving our students and alumni. We’re also upgrading our entrepreneurship curricula to include more experiential learning and case-based teaching.”

Quelch added that the school expects to open a center for entrepreneurship by 2020, if funding is forthcoming. Furthermore, the school will be starting its STEM-certified Master of Science in Sustainable Business degree program next August, which according to Quelch will be “the first STEM-certified M.S. in sustainable business degree in the country.”

The program will integrate climate science, law, engineering and public policy into its teachings of business sustainability and will train graduates for careers in industries such as energy, manufacturing and healthcare. Its establishment speaks to the school’s commitment to ensuring long-term success for its students in the local market, as well as its and its ability to satisfy the demands of the city’s dynamic business landscape.

To learn more about our interviewee, as well as new developments and course offerings from Miami Business School, visit



Educating Atlanta’s Future Leaders

By contributing writer Kelly Bolhofner
August 2018 – 2 min. read

Atlanta has always been known for its innovative growth (most recently in the fintech industry), quality universities and corporate infrastructure. While the city is home to several post-secondary schools, it has not always had strong K-12 programs to prepare its students to attend those universities. With a goal of providing the city with a solid foundation of future leaders, early educators and innovators started independent schools they hoped would inspire creativity and a strong desire for learning. Today, Atlanta boasts 135 of the 869 private schools in Georgia (15.5 percent), with 30,685 of the total 155,925 students statewide attending private schools (19.6 percent).   

The cost of a private education in Atlanta averages $12,253 for elementary and $16,555 for high school, compared to the national average of $10,413. While this is comparable to the cost of a post-secondary education, recently state lawmakers have been looking at legislation that will shift money from public education over to private education, allowing more students to access the benefits of an independent school experience.



House Bill 664 will change the way parents use their 529 savings plans, letting them apply it to secondary education as well as post-secondary schooling. House Bill 217 is a tax credit voucher program that will raise the annual limit on tax credits for student scholarship organizations. Another bill that was voted on and lost but could come up again in revised form is House Bill 482, which is essentially an expanded voucher program.

Focus: Atlanta sat down with Keith Evans, president of the Westminster Schools, earlier this year to talk about the kind of education students can expect to receive from Westminster. “We attract students who want to blend intellectual, athletic and artistic talent with a desire to serve a purpose larger than themselves and make an impact on the world,” Evans told Focus:. “That has been our mission and our calling card from the beginning. If you look around Atlanta, there’s a lot of Westminster DNA in both the historical growth of the city as well as the interesting things that are happening today.” He added that “Westminster has fully launched a number of innovative, educational experiences for our students. Prominent among these is a three-week program called Jan Term; all of our Upper School students participate. ” The school also offers a summer program called Running Through History, which allows students to run cross-country through Europe while learning the history of World War II.  

Stuart Gulley, president of Woodward Academy, shared with Focus: the things that set Woodward apart from other schools. “We are the oldest and the largest independent school in the continental U.S.,” he said. He pointed out that the school values diversity: “We have a deep respect for difference. That’s reflected in every difference imaginable, not just race, ethnicity or religion.” While offering the same co-curricular opportunities as other private schools, Woodward Academy faces challenges with the current traffic and infrastructure. Efforts of the new Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance in creating a seamlessly connected “airport city” will hopefully help to mitigate those issues.

Private education offers students a chance to learn in more creative ways and teachers a chance to teach using their own styles. Parents are more engaged and involved in the students’ education, and graduation rates are significantly higher. Both Westminster and Woodward have an acceptance rate of about 25 percent, keeping the average class size to about 16 students with a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio. This provides an opportunity for more one-on-one teaching.  

As Evans told Focus:, “The City of Atlanta itself and the metro area have about as wide a range of educational options as you can imagine. What distinguishes Atlanta in terms of educational choices is that the schools here tend to be focused on their unique mission and philosophy and serving a particular kind of student. Schools in Atlanta have done a good job of defining their purpose: what place they want to occupy in the ecosystem and who they’re here to serve.”

Atlanta has come a long way from its early days and today boasts not only some of the finest private schools but also 98 public learning sites, two single-sex institutions and 17 charter schools that are improving under the current leadership. With so many top-quality choices, Atlanta is leading the charge in educating the next generation of innovators and leaders.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:
Westminster Schools:
Woodward Academy:

Much Love for Entrepreneurship in the City of Brotherly Love

By contributing writer Sean O’Toole
July 2018 – 2 min. read

This is not your parents’ economy. Over the last 20 years, the labor market has evolved to demand efficiency and innovation as prerequisites for success. Even individuals entering traditionally “safe” professions need to adopt the entrepreneur’s bold, proactive approach to career development. Many colleges and universities have recognized this trend and have started to offer entrepreneurial degree programs. Two Philadelphia-area schools, in particular, are on the cutting edge of this new educational and professional movement: Drexel University and La Salle University.

Philadelphia has always been an incubator for entrepreneurship. The city’s icon, Benjamin Franklin, was a renowned inventor and innovator credited with the establishment of the city’s first firehouse, post office and library. Philadelphia is also where many of our country’s earliest and brightest entrepreneurs came together to develop one of history’s most exciting and daring enterprises: the United States of America. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the city continues to produce adventurous professionals with the help of Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship and La Salle’s Center for Entrepreneurship.



Donna De Carolis, the Silverman Family Professor for Entrepreneurial Leadership and dean of Drexel’s Close School, is especially excited about the opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the city. “Philadelphia offers tremendous opportunity,” De Carolis told Invest: Philadelphia when she sat down with our team earlier this year. “Whether in med tech, ed tech or other markets, there are opportunities for new and emerging companies and ideas.”

It is the presence of this kind of opportunity in Philadelphia that makes an entrepreneurial degree from Drexel so valuable. “The need for efficiency and speed is changing the way companies are structuring and doing business. We want to help prepare our students for this job market,” De Carolis said. “By offering this degree, as well as classes to students with other degrees, we are preparing our students for the job market they will be entering.” Drexel is currently the only school to offer a program like this as a free-standing degree, but other schools are taking notice of its success and will likely follow suit.

Drexel is not Philadelphia’s only trendsetter in entrepreneurial education, however. Steve Melick, executive director of the La Salle Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, spoke about the center’s evolution into a groundbreaking model for experiential learning.

“La Salle is making interesting progress,” Melick told Invest:. “We are beginning to integrate topics in innovation and entrepreneurial thinking into existing, traditional class topics rather than separating entrepreneurship as an independent discipline. In one example we are seeing biology students use their technical understanding to explore new business and market opportunities for commercial research. Prior to this engagement, these same biology students typically have little interest in business or an understanding of connecting the two topics. Through this course they learn the complementary and necessary connection between these disciplines. This is a significant shift but helps to bring greater perspective and broader learning growth to our students.”

As Philadelphia continues to grow and attract investors from an increasing number of industries, there will be a consistent need for a steady influx of enterprising young professionals to tap into the city’s potential. Entrepreneurial programs, like those offered by Drexel University and La Salle University, can help them develop the skills they need to succeed in an ever-evolving business world.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:
Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, Drexel University:
Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, La Salle University:


“Meds and Eds”

June 2018 — If there is one thing to take away from Philadelphia’s business market it is that higher education and healthcare — or as the locals call it, “meds and eds” — are two major sweet spots. Philadelphia and its surrounding region are home to numerous internationally ranked universities and hospitals that produce some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and life-changing research. The growth of both industries feeds into other sectors of the market as well.

Development projects for both higher education and healthcare are popping up all over the city, whether in the form of new innovation centers like Pennovation and Schuylkill Yards or new additions to Penn Medicine and Main Line Health. Life sciences, healthcare and education are some of the leading sectors driving business at the city’s law, accounting and consulting firms as well.

We sat down with some of Philadelphia’s leading minds in meds, eds and other industries affected by their growth in order to learn more about the region’s “meds and eds” phenomenon.

Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania

“Penn has amazing momentum right now. The research that is happening here, like Dr. June’s CAR-T therapy, and the people we are attracting to the university are creating an amazing trajectory for us. We are a part of some game-changing gene therapy that was just recently FDA approved and could have a huge impact on both improving lives and the Philadelphia economy. The University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia higher education sector are very strong. There is a need for a larger STEM workforce, and with the quality of student we continue to attract, we can make an impact on that workforce.”

Jay S. Feldstein, DO, President, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

“60 percent of our graduates go into primary care. You can’t go to a medical institution in the Philadelphia or Mid-Atlantic regions without bumping into one of our graduates who’s either an attending physician in practice, a resident or a medical student. Our location and our affiliations offer a unique opportunity for students to really immerse themselves in the medical community and culture.”

Christopher Bruner, Office Managing Partner, EY

“Life sciences is a huge sector for us, especially in Philadelphia, and not just because the industry has a large presence in the city. It is because our employees want to give back. Millennials especially want to work with companies that they know are doing good, and they want to give back themselves, which is something we encourage as a firm.”

Teddy Thomas, President, Ronald McDonald House

“Medical tourism is something that happens organically. Because of the doctors and their sub-specialties we have here, people come for very specific reasons. People are not traveling for general care; they are traveling for specialized care. Medicine is continuing to evolve through the insurance industry, as well as in the form of hospitals building new and continuing to invest in their own research. Sub-specialized care draws people out of their local communities, and Philadelphia will continue to see a growth of people traveling to this region for their care. We feel very lucky to be in the amazing meds and eds corridor that we have.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their company websites:

University of Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine:
Ronald McDonald House:

Talent development

How Florida International University is nurturing students to create the best opportunities

Mark Rosenberg President – Florida International University


What policies could be implemented so as to further expand research?

We have to find a way to incentivize faculties to be more innovative and creative. That involves giving them a significant part of the revenue created by anything they might invent. Great faculties also need great graduate students, and they need postdoctoral scholars. Postdoctoral scholars are individuals who have got their PhD, but are willing to work as assistants to professors who have already been on the field for a long time.

What are the main challenges to remaining leaders in research? What differentiates the facilities of Florida International University facilities from others?

The main challenge is to continue to maintain the talent here and to continue hiring great professionals. The facilities are critical because advanced research is expensive we need great facilities. We are fortunate that the state has been willing to invest in science and laboratories, as well as engineering laboratories, at Florida International University (FIU). We have been able to double our research since 2009. In 2016, Forbes named us as one of the top large companies to work for in the U.S. We were ranked 64, with more than 5,000 employees, and were ranked second in Florida.

How can the universities better connect academia with industry?

You have to look at what we’ve done with The Beacon Council with the One Community, One Goal initiative where, of seven sectors, we identified six and developed a plan to work directly with industry. Secondly, we are in discussions with The Beacon Council’s advisory group, academia and the business community to determine how we can collaborate. Third, is that we set up the talent development network, which is a portal providing internships for students to work in industry. Industry often claims that we aren’t responsive to their needs but it’s a shared responsibility because the occupational spectrum is so specific and so detailed that it’s hard to believe that industry thinks that we could produce specialists for each of the specializations that they have in their respective company. The Talent Development Network, which isn’t just FIU, has placed over 200 students in careers. All of the institutions of higher learning in Miami-Dade County working together assure that students can understand what their career is going to look like and that they are going to have a potential opportunity with a company. The company can train students and they can come back and take full-time positions. The national data is that 65 percent of students who take internships eventually work with the same company at a salary premium of $12,000 to $13,000.

Embracing globality

How University of Miami is capitalizing on the county’s unique location

Dr. Julio Frenk President – University of Miami


What is the main role of University of Miami as an institution within Greater Miami?

This university was opened only 29 years after the City of Miami was founded. The founders realized, as early as 1925, that the city needed a higher education center. We have developed a hemispheric strategy, which has five pillars. First, we need to study the hemisphere. By this, I mean the entire continent from Canada to the southern parts of Latin America. Because our hemisphere is the New World, you cannot understand it without also understanding the Old World, emphasizing a global perspective. Our advantage in Miami is that we are truly a cross road between the cities of the Americas. To better study the hemisphere, we have created the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas. The second pillar surrounds education exchange. We want to take education exchange to a whole new level, and for this, we have created the Hemispheric University Consortium where students will be able to move around universities and get credits for the courses they take. The third pillar is research. We already have an extensive and vast network of very talented researchers. The fourth is technological innovation. By partnering with businesses, government and civic organizations in Miami-Dade and South Florida, we can become the most comprehensive research university of the region. And the last pillar is healthcare. Our aim is to expand our already vast amount of patients and forge strategic and collaborative arrangements.

What are the main challenges in preparing today’s youth for an ever-changing job market?

Our success will be measured in how well we prepare our students for the rapid changes they will face in the labor market. Our graduates are entering a labor market that has never changed as fast as it is doing so right now. This is mostly because of advances in automation and artificial intelligence. This means that machines will displace plenty of jobs, but it also means that an important number of new jobs will be created. Some studies show that children entering elementary school this year will, by the time they graduate, work in jobs that don’t exist today. The way to address this is to have a university with an open architecture that allows people to enter as many times as they need to keep themselves updated. In addition to developing certain specific skills in specific areas, we also develop cross-cutting competencies that have to do with critical thinking, creativity, good communication skills, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship.

Invest: Miami speaks with Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools


How prepared is the county to compete for new funding?

We are well-poised for federal investment because we have demonstrated a high level of performance in the areas that matter most to Secretary DeVos, and we are working to further expand educational options. While there was once only one Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH), today we have the Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts and the Miami Arts Studio, which give DASH, or at least its visual arts program, a run for its money. Similarly, there are now a number of programs on equal footing with the New World School of the Arts.

How do your standards compare to those of the rest of the country?

Ours are state standards. They are fairly new and reflect high-stakes accountability. Compared to the rest of the country, we do very well in terms of the levels of complexity, rigor and relevance to the future needs of our community, country and world. The expectations of our elementary education have been further aligned with those of the international community, and Florida’s fourth graders are performing extremely well on international assessments. However, the comparison is less favorable when we look at secondary education. Students in most West European countries, and in places like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, consistently outperform American students, particularly in reading, mathematics and science. To a certain extent, this reflects the demands of our secondary education, and it is why the requirements to graduate in Miami-Dade exceed those of the state. We demand participation in foreign language programs and exposure to higher-level math and science courses, particularly in choice programs.

Skills for tomorrow

How Miami Dade College is preparing its students for the future job market 

Eduardo Padron President – Miami Dade College


How are programs at Miami Dade College helping to create a skilled workforce?

In 2016, we introduced a number of very important programs – some of them were a first not just for Miami, but also for Florida. They are designed to meet the needs of local businesses and industries and provide a trained workforce that is able to help with the economic development of the area. This will mean well paid jobs, which will improve and diversify the economy. This includes areas intended to embrace important aspects of Miami’s economy, such as animation, game development and big data. We are also doing a lot to transform the way we approach achieving student success. We want to make sure that all our students have the necessary tools to be able to excel in college. We’re an institution that is a microcosm of Miami, and as such, our student body is representative of this city, especially in terms of diversity. We have students from more than 180 different countries who speak over 90 different languages. Miami Dade College (MDC) is an institution that opens doors to everyone and, therefore, we must communicate effectively with all segments of our population.

What are the main challenges of offering affordable higher education?

The key is making sure those that fund us – meaning the State of Florida – are able to look at education as a vital investment, not an unnecessary expense. Unfortunately, nowadays too many decisions are made strictly in terms of cost analysis. The most important investment we can make in people is to give them the tools they need to help themselves. We are not getting enough support to be able to do the job, to provide a quality education program, to hire the best possible faculty or to introduce the modern technology that we need. This community needs to remind our legislators of this underlying principle of democracy: the institutions such as MDC need to be supported because the create the necessary informed, engaged and skilled workforce crucial to our nation’s success. Business leaders have a special role to play in this effort. What we need to keep in mind is that the world of work today is very different from 20 years ago. The skills that are necessary have changed significantly. When you talk to employers you find that their requirements are much higher than they used to be. They are not only looking for technical competency, but also strong soft skills, the ability to work in teams, be problem solvers, have critical as well as analytical skills and the ability to work collaboratively with other employees. Employers are looking for diversity and people who can be helpful in innovation.