“The weeds are as important as the crops,” said University City Science Center CEO Stephen Tang, in a PHLDiversity’s most recent podcast. Drawing from the book “The Rainforest” by Victor W. Hwang, Dr. Tang added that the “rogue plants” of Philadelphia, meaning startups and locally owned businesses, must be supported and encouraged in order for Philly to truly cross the tipping point and become a hub of innovation.
As the head of the oldest and largest urban research park in the country, created long before innovation and entrepreneurship were common vernacular, Dr. Tang has a high-level perspective on the topic.
“It’s actually against the national trend…for the first time in 35 years, there have been more businesses that have gone out of business than have actually started in this country…Philadelphia stands out as a place where startups have really begun to take great root and found their way into meaningful roles in our economy,” Dr. Tang said. “Of course, now our next challenge beyond the startup community is scale-up. Getting them to scale their businesses.”
PHLDiversity, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, started the podcast 5 months ago featuring leaders in hospitality, tourism, and diversity. This month’s podcast featured Dr. Tang, who discussed diversity, innovation and business incubation support for start-up companies.
Gregory DeShields, executive director of PHL Diversity, along with Bonnie Grant, executive director of Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress, also talked with Dr. Tang about startups, local growth, and Maxamillion’s Gentlemen’s barber shop in the semi-regular podcast, which you can listen to on SoundCloud.
Image by Albert Yee-30-
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