"A RICH HISTORY OF INNOVATION AND GROWTH IN PHILADELPHIA"
GEOFF GROSS, FOUNDER AND CEO - MEDICAL GUARDIAN
For many, the American Dream involves an opportunity to create your own success, no matter your financial, educational, or ethnic background. After all, America’s story began with a scrappy bunch of dreamers who wanted the opportunity to build a better country. In that regard, it seems safe to say that Philadelphia is the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest startups—the American democracy. With that legacy coursing through the veins of the city, Philadelphia has been able to quietly grow its startup ecosystem over the years, which has attracted a variety of dreamers, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
Philadelphia is known for “Eds and Meds,” as it is home to world-class educational institutions and some of the most progressive medical hospitals and training facilities nationwide. University City is the neighborhood in West Philadelphia that houses University of Pennsylvania, which has been ranked among the Top 10 Best Colleges by U.S. News, and Drexel University, which has been ranked among the Top 25 on the “Most Innovative Schools” list for National Universities. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has also made U.S. News’ Honor Roll for the nation’s best children’s hospitals. The sense of innovation in Philadelphia isn’t just contained to University City—it’s started to seep into other neighborhoods throughout the city, providing opportunity for those with big ideas.
Geoff Gross is the Founder and CEO of Medical Guardian, one of the nation’s leading providers of personal emergency response systems (PERS) which protects and provides peace of mind to over 100,000 older adults nationwide. Geoff has been named a 2018 Top CEO by Glassdoor, featured in Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO’s” list, a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Smart CEO Magazine’s “Future 50,” and a “40 under 40” by Philadelphia Business Journal and Direct Marketing News.
Just a mile east of University City is downtown Center City, a booming neighborhood known for some of the fastest-growing companies in the country, including the only medical alert solutions provider in the city, Medical Guardian. As a one-stop personal emergency response systems (PERS) provider, we’re dedicated to helping people take on the next chapter of their life head-on through our innovative, first-of-its-kind technology; empowering older adults nationwide to truly live a life without limits.
And you can’t talk about first-of-its-kind technology without talking about the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, which is located just a block away from Medical Guardian. As the Comcast Center’s sister space and Comcast Corporation’s global headquarters, Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is the tallest skyscraper in the city, and ninth tallest in the U.S. Designed specifically for tech startups, engineers and software architects, the Center is an incubator for technology-based business, comprised of a ‘state-of-the-art’ accelerator space.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia and never considered moving anywhere else to launch my business. I launched Medical Guardian from my Center City apartment and within two years had moved into a Center City office space with a team of 10 people. Five years after that, Medical Guardian had grown so much that I had to move into a bigger office space. Today, we occupy two floors at 1818 Market and employ a team of over 300. I don’t think we could have accomplished this type of growth anywhere other than the city of Philadelphia.
Looking ahead, I believe the biggest opportunity awaiting leaders is investing in people. More than generations past, people are now choosing to forgo moving to the suburbs to have families and are staying in the city—and businesses need to accommodate that. Philadelphia is growing its entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem largely because of its collaborative community-oriented spirit, diversity, and unrelenting desire to succeed. After all, it’s part of our history.