With tech jobs growing exponentially, startups launching and growing at a rapid clip, and national attention being focused on Philadelphia in light of the recent Amazon HQ2 bid, the role of the City’s Director of Business Development for Innovation & Technology – Francisco Garcia – is more important than ever.

As the Director of Business Development for Innovation & Technology, Francisco is the City’s main liaison with the local tech community. He is responsible for attracting startups and larger tech companies to Philadelphia, while also implementing strategies to support the growth of the city’s existing ecosystem. This includes the planning and execution of StartupPHL initiatives, and identifying ways the business community and City government can work together to diversify Philadelphia’s tech scene.

Get to know Francisco:

He was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

Francisco Garcia is a first-generation immigrant and recovering New Yorker with a soft spot for their sports teams. The good news is Francisco is a Yankees fan – so Philadelphians don’t have to worry about him rooting for the Mets. And in a recent development, he’s ready to “Trust the Process” and hop on the Sixers bandwagon.

He has attended two of the nation’s top universities – Vanderbilt and Penn.

Francisco received his undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship from Vanderbilt University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, where he will complete his studies this spring.

He started his own ice cream shop.

There is no one who better understands the needs of an entrepreneur than someone who has run their own business. Francisco’s firsthand experience as an entrepreneur in one of the world’s most competitive cities will serve him well as he works to support startups in Philadelphia and attract new companies.

He also spent has experience in finance.

After completing his undergraduate studies in entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University, Francisco worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and team member of an early-stage FinTech startup. Here in Philadelphia Francisco spent time working for GoodCompany Ventures, a Philadelphia-based social enterprise accelerator, where he was responsible for developing a program related to investment strategies.

He is obsessed with good food, but don’t call him a “foodie.”

One of his favorite Philadelphia eateries is Abyssinia, which serves up Ethiopian food in West Philadelphia; but he’s always willing to get out and try new places. As for the popular phrase “foodie,” you won’t catch him using that anytime soon – he prefers to say he is lover of amazing cuisine.

He sees the potential of Philly’s tech scene and wants to take it to the next level.  

Since 2002, the Philadelphia region has grown its technology sector as a proportion of total job growth more than any major region outside the Bay Area, and a quarter of all jobs created have been tech jobs. Through intentional efforts to support, grow and diversify Philadelphia’s tech community, Francisco and his colleagues at the Department of Commerce hope to keep this trend going.