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:



The Fight for Fresh Food

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

Urban agriculture is an integral part of human civilization. The ability to cultivate food consistently in one place was the impetus for the founding of the first human cities, and the need for a reliable supply of food has been one of the most critical concerns of every city since. This was no less true for early America. However, over time, our ability to factory farm massive quantities of food on faraway farms and then ship it to urban destinations reduced the need to keep farms and gardens close to home. The victory gardens of World War II — necessitated by the need to conserve for the war effort — were an oasis of urban agriculture that quickly dried up when postwar prosperity made them obsolete yet again.

In 21st-century America, there is no shortage of food. But there is a shortage of good food. Our cities are food deserts — areas lacking fresh, healthy whole foods. Instead, we subsist on the processed, the fast and the fattening. We are always fed but never nourished. In response to the epidemic of bad food, urban agriculture is making a resurgence in cities across the country, including Atlanta.



Atlanta residents were extremely vocal about the need to improve the quality of locally available food, and the city listened by making food part of the Resilient Atlanta Strategy, among other local initiatives. This led to the rise of the AgLanta Grows-A-Lot program, which makes vacant, city-owned land available to residents and nonprofits for the cultivation of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program represents a positive step toward Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ goal of putting 75 percent of Atlanta residents within a 10-minute walk of fresh food by 2020 and developing a resilient food system by 2025.

MARTA is also bolstering this effort. In 2015, the organization launched its Fresh MARTA Market as a pilot program with the goal of both helping farmers sell their produce and providing healthy, fresh food to the city’s residents in a convenient location. What could be more convenient than a MARTA station? The program currently operates at five stations following the recent opening of the Bankhead Market on September 19, 2018.

Leading construction company Skanska also understands the importance of resilience and urban farming. “Our Atlanta office was the first Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold-certified office space in 2007,” Scott Cannon, Skanska’s executive vice president, told our Focus: Atlanta team. “We have two unique and sustainable projects underway in Atlanta: the Georgia Tech Living Building Challenge and an urban farm shed along the BeltLine. The shed is a 500-square-foot off-grid storage and workshed featuring a photovoltaic energy and storage system, composting toilet and the use of salvaged and locally milled wood products.”

Atlanta’s renewed commitment to urban agriculture in recent years is already beginning to have an impact. The total area of the city’s food deserts shrunk by 17 percent between 2010 and 2016 alone. Like other successful programs in the city, this is thanks in part to the enthusiastic creation of public-private partnerships intent on furthering the expansion of urban agriculture. AgLanta Grows-A-Lot is receiving assistance from groups such as the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District, NewFields, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and many more. Thanks to these efforts, Atlanta will not just grow in the future; it will also grow healthier.  

For more information on the City of Atlanta’s resiliency efforts, visit the Office of Resilience website:

For more information on our interviewee, visit Skanska’s website:

“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:

The Healthcare Research Capital

February 2018 — Known as a healthcare hub, Atlanta is nationally recognized not only for its patient care but also for its research in the healthcare industry. As the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and leading research institutions like Emory University and Georgia Tech, Atlanta paves the way in innovation within the industry. In fact, former Mayor Kasim Reed said that Atlanta would become the health technology capital of the Southeast after seeing the impact that the recently opened Atlanta Center for Medical Research has had on its surrounding community.

Focus: Atlanta spoke with a number of city leaders in the healthcare sector to get their insights on this. Here’s what they said:

Dr. Jonathan Lewin, President and CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

“At Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, we are conducting more than $540 million of externally funded research in 2017. The Emory Vaccine Center is performing clinical trials for Zika virus vaccines,  we have made groundbreaking progress on HIV vaccines and antibiotic resistance. The Winship Cancer Institute, recently designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute, has participated in clinical trials for all the newest immunotherapy drugs. Our Brain Health Center is conducting research on Alzheimer’s, PTSD, stroke, and depression. We are leading the largest clinical trial ever in Atlanta, the Emory Health Aging Study, which will be enrolling healthy aging people across the city, looking at brain health development and dementia. It’s going to be one of the biggest trials ever conducted in the U.S. for brain health.”

Dr. Walter Curran, Executive Director, Winship Cancer Institute

“The National Cancer Institute considers several features of an institution when it designates CCCs. It looks at the quality of laboratory cancer research, the quality of clinical trials, the efforts to understand cancer in the community, including cancer prevention or early detection methods, educational training programs and the positive impacts of research on the local community. Our mission is to lessen the burden of cancer in Georgia. We do that by aligning our research and educational programs with our cancer care and prevention.”

Anne Meisner, CEO, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

“We have a presence of large academic institutions, and that is a driver of medical education as well as research.”

John Haupert, President and CEO, Grady Health System

“The Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center came online in 2010 and has become one of the leading stroke centers in the country. It is the largest in Georgia and a leading research facility. The Marcus Trauma Center has given us the capacity to manage larger numbers of trauma patients. Additional investments have been made in cardiology that allow Grady to be a 24-7 cardiac center and allow a 24-7 catheterization lab available to respond to ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a serious type of heart attack. Most recently, we have undergone a significant expansion and renovation of our emergency department. Because of the population we serve, we have created the state’s first psychiatric ER as we see a significant number of psychiatric patients.”

To find out more about our interviewees above, visit their websites at:

Emory Healthcare:
Winship Cancer Institute:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America:
Grady Health System:

Invest: Miami speaks with George Foyo, Chief Administrative Officer, Baptist Health South Florida


Consumer choice is becoming more prevalent because either employers are not covering as many of the healthcare needs of their employees, or some employers are no longer covering their employees at all. With federal and private exchanges, the landscape of how people are acquiring healthcare has changed significantly. People are now forced to make a choice in what plan to buy, and they’re generally not well informed. People know how to buy a car, but buying a healthcare plan is very different. You have to know what network it covers and what the deductibles are. Some consumers are buying plans based on price alone, without realizing they have high deductibles or a narrow network. Whether you go through a private or federal exchange, you have to be mindful of what you’re buying. You may not realize the deductibles could end up being thousands of dollars. There needs to be a lot more education. Private exchanges will continue to grow, and time will tell how well that works. It will be interesting to see how the acquisition of healthcare plans change for consumers, based on availability, price and network. As Baptist Health grows and evolves, so does our patient profile. Because some of our technology and services are unique to the area, we collaborate with other healthcare organizations, such as children’s hospitals, to provide services. In Latin America, there are few similar facilities so we communicate our capabilities to doctors there, and they refer patients when necessary. For example, we recently had more than 100 doctors from Latin America present as we opened the doors of our Miami Cancer Institute. We hosted a series of lectures to familiarize them with the Institute and let them know how we can work together. One of our special services in the area of medical tourism is the focus on continuity of care. After patients leave us and return to their home cities, we connect with their local physician to ensure the care loop is closed.

Alliance of care

How Miami Cancer Institute’s role in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance improves treatment options for cancer patients in South Florida

Michael J. Zinner Founding CEO & Executive Medical Director – Miami Cancer Institute


As the third member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, what is the importance of the hybrid academic and community cancer care model?

Around 85 percent of cancer care in this community is delivered in a hospital setting, not in highly academic research settings. A hybrid cancer center, of which there are now several in the U.S., is the marriage of a community hospital and an academic research institution. Our institution is Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. It means we are able to offer the same standards of care including clinical trials, resources and capabilities as one would receive in Manhattan. There is a distinction between what other national cancer centers do and what we are doing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cancer centers that are branding exercises where the nationally-recognized name on a building creates the idea of better practices. This is not what we have done. For the past two years, Miami Cancer Institute has gone through a series of checks to ensure that the standards of care offered here in Miami are the same standards offered at Memorial Sloan Kettering and through the Cancer Alliance. For each cancer, there is a list of everything that needs to be done, for instance the preparation for surgery and during surgery in the operating room. There is a checklist the size of a telephone book that need to be prepared. This method is very different from other relationships and institutions around the country.

What are the advantages of proton therapy?

There is a difference between traditional X-ray therapy and proton therapy. Traditional X-rays are used to essentially burn a tumor. It burns the tissue on the way in, gets the tumor and then burns the tissue on the way out. There is a lot of harm to normal tissue. Proton therapy, however, has virtually no normal tissue side effects. It is very precise. Essentially, it only burns the tumor, but not the tissue around it. This is critical in children because if the normal tissue of a child is burnt, it interferes with development. It will also be critical in cases of brain tumors where you don’t want to damage the normal nerves around the targeted area. The same could be applied to spinal areas. We are expanding its use into other areas. For example, women who have had radiation therapy for breast cancer are at a higher risk of contracting a heart disease because of the cancer’s close proximity to the heart and the imprecise nature of that therapy. We might be able to eliminate that side effect by using proton therapy. The proton therapy unit is a very high-tech piece of equipment. It will take up to six months to get is calibrated and we expect to be treating patients in late summer 2017.

Invest: Miami speaks with Rachel Sapoznik, President & CEO, Sapoznik Insurance


What is the potential for telemedicine in South Florida?

I think the potential for telemedicine is tremendous. We have such a lack of primary care physicians here. If you need to go to the doctor right away, many times you can’t get an immediate appointment. Telemedicine would provide us with instant access to a network of doctors and allow employees to get their prescriptions without having to leave work, thus minimizing absenteeism. However, there is still a barrier to entry. We need to continue educating both doctors and patients on the benefits to ensure the concept takes hold.

What are the challenges in educating people about personal responsibility in using their healthcare insurance?

One of our biggest challenges is at the C-level. Executives look at their employee benefits as a costly line item as opposed to something crucial for their employees. Critical information is lost when using web portals as the whole landscape of healthcare is challenging. We have found that the employers that really believe in and care about their employees have less turnover and fewer claims.

How competitive is the health insurance market?

Miami has always been known as one of the most competitive and expensive insurance markets in the country. One of the reasons why is because the population has historically been on the older side. However, our population is getting younger and over the next decade, we will see a reduction in the average age. If we continue the wellness journey, people of all ages will be healthier and this will enable healthcare costs to come down, and continue the availability of affordable health insurance coverage. Another thing to consider is if in fact the ACA is repealed, this will allow insurance companies to sell across state lines, increase competition among each other and lower cost for both employers and employees.

Invest: Miami speaks with Akhil Agrawal, President, American Medical Depot


How was the demand for medical supplies in Miami-Dade in 2016?

The demographics in South Florida are compelling. Baby-boomers are aging, the population is living longer, and that translates to an increasing need for medical care and medical supplies. Demand continues to grow. We’re seeing mid to high single digit growth in our local economy. Nationally, access to quality medical care, products and services has been a bigger problem than it has been in Miami.

How do you address these challenges?

There is a major shift in the delivery of healthcare from traditional in-hospital care to alternative settings as patients start to exercise choice, and as insurance providers look to squeeze cost out of the system. Procedures are moving out of hospitals to surgery centers as more surgeries occur on an outpatient basis. Care is moving more to patient homes and physician offices and out of emergency rooms. The big move in the supply world for us is how to meet that challenge. In 2012, we acquired a company that focuses specifically on physician offices and surgery centers. We have a focus on investing in our e-commerce capabilities for all our clients. Supplies that normally would have only been consumed at a hospital or surgery-level are made publicly available to people accessing care in their homes with family members or other caregivers supporting the administration of those supplies.

What will be the main growth drivers in 2017?

There is no question that the move outside of hospital settings will continue. The question is what will happen to the access points that were provided through the Affordable Care Act. Will they go away? If they do, what will they be replaced with? Will care move backwards for those that are uninsured, will they no longer have access? These are the big questions for us. We’ve heard repeal, l and replace. Changing things rapidly is a relative term on the insurance bearer side.

Invest: Miami speaks with Jeff Johnson, State Director, AARP Florida


While South Florida, like the state as a whole, has in past generations been known as a retirement hub, the changing wants and needs of the baby boomers is recalibrating what it means to age in ways that should cause all of us to rethink everything related to aging. South Florida in particular brings a unique mix of cultures as the “Gateway to the Americas.” As a membership organization, AARP is intent on finding ways to connect with the very diverse audiences within the market, and to do that, we must find innovative ways to engage locally. While the AARP Foundation has partnered with the Miami Dolphins to raise awareness about the realities that economically vulnerable elders face, the primary issues – adequate and affordable housing, financial stability, adequate nutrition, and connection to the broader community – extend to a much broader swath of South Florida. AARP Florida is focused on working with allies in the for-profit, non-profit, academic, governmental and philanthropic areas in South Florida who have joined the World Health Organization/AARP Age Friendly Network of Communities. This is a network to identify what communities in the region are doing well and how to improve livability for people of all ages and economic circumstances. Our focus is to identify the needs of members in the community as a whole, so we can meet in ways that empower them to choose how they live as they age. For some, that comes through our advocacy and for others, it comes through the opportunities to learn and grow that we offer and for some it’s through the products and services that AARP Services works with providers to offer. The key opportunity for us is to identify in this diverse market the needs that aren’t being met in our current value proposition and innovate new solutions that are consistent with our values. AARP Florida works with organizations on a variety of education, outreach and advocacy efforts, for which we share common goals, including for-profit companies as well as non-profit agencies and associations.