Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From Rust Belt to Tech Belt | Ohio Business Development Coalition | Blog

From Rust Belt to Tech Belt | Ohio Business Development Coalition | Blog

For decades, Youngstown, Ohio struggled to reinvent itself. Over the last few years, though, something special has happened here. Several strong-minded business spirits are putting their heads together to reinvent Youngstown as a technology center.

The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), led by Jim Cossler, is one such organization that is taking the city by storm. YBI offers budding tech companies consulting services and facilities support, such as office space and bandwidth for free or at a deferred cost.

Ultimately, Jim is looking to build a cluster of software companies in Youngstown. He envisions transforming the city into a low-cost alternative to Silicon Valley and other high-cost tech hotbeds. Being located in the resource-rich region of Appalachia Ohio increases the odds that these start-ups will be profitable.

Experts agree there are four ideal location criteria for entrepreneurial start-ups: access to business capital and support services, access to supply chain and markets, access to knowledge and labor, and access to a balanced life. All of these resources are abundant in Enterprise Appalachia, and YBI is just one shining example of how entrepreneurs can benefit from having ready access to these resources.

Recently, I spoke with Jim about how several of his organization’s start-ups have been successful largely as a result of being located in Ohio’s Enterprise Appalachia Region. Click here to read the full story.


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