Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the nation in which to launch a company, according to venture capitalist Steve Case.

In a ranking titled "The Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups" published by Forbes, Case gave Philadelphia high marks for "convenient access to the East Coast hubs of Boston, New York and Washington, plus more affordable business costs."  Case, the billionaire co-founder of AOL, started the VC firm Revolution in 2005.  His Rise of the Rest seed fund fuels startups in underserved cities. Philadelphia, which placed eighth in the rankings, also was credited for being "home to more than 100 degree-granting institutions and has the second largest university population in the U.S."

Steve Case
Steve Case

"It is our hope that one day lists like this won't be necessary," Case said in a blog post. "That there won't be anything exceptional about a tech startup putting down roots outside of Silicon Valley or New York."  The rankings did not include those giants, but focused on cities with the greatest potential for growth.

Topping the list was Columbus, Ohio, with the highest number of funds per capita of any city. Baltimore placed fifth, boosted by it's proximity to Washington D.C. and fueled by the success of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. Philadelphia, which had 548 deals completed in the past three years (more by far than any other city on the Rising Cities list), was also noted for major VC deals with TmunityHarmony Biosciences, and Recovery Centers of America. Minneapolis-St. Paul and Charlotte, N.C. rounded out the rankings.