Where Is Pennsylvania’s Very Own Silicon Valley?

Move over, Silicon Valley: Pennsylvania has a tech hub of its own.
 
Over the past couple of decades, the San Francisco Bay Area has been the tech mecca of the country. It’s the shiny, silicon haven where the nerds are the cool kids and where artisanal coffee is a main food group; where there are more startups than gyms and everyone seems to be living far in the future.
 
But this flood of entrepreneurial hopefuls has brought with it a surge of sky-high housing costs and a lack of space. Those looking to start a company are already using all of their resources to make sure their venture is a success. But how can they take such a risk if they’re paying upwards of $4,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment?
 
As it turns out, there are other areas of the country—including some in Pennsylvania—where more tech companies and venture capital firms are popping up every year. These dark horses may be poised to become the next silicon superpowers.

To see the top 10 PA tech counties, click the link: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150611/where-is-pennsylvanias-very-own-silicon-valley

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Pittsburgh Renting Rates Rising Quickly

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If it seems as though rental prices in Pittsburgh have been in a bull market over the past several years, that’s because they have.

While large metro areas like New York and San Francisco have grabbed headlines for their sky-high rental prices, Pittsburgh’s rental market is actually rising at a faster rate than New York’s, according to a study from personal finance website NerdWallet.

“We were looking at growth rates, rather than cities with the highest rents, and Pittsburgh is in a rapid economic growth period now,” said Divya Raghavan, a senior analyst for NerdWallet in San Francisco. “While New York and San Francisco are already well-established top cities in the U.S., Pittsburgh is considered an up and coming city.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/finance/2014/04/18/Pittsburgh-renting-rates-rising-quickly/stories/201404180004#ixzz2zGE35Ub1

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Business Forum: Steel, Health Dare And Future Wealth Of Our Robotic Region

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A city that doesn’t make things can never be a real city.

The Steel City got its name and built its international reputation by making the best metal products in the world. For Hollywood, wealth and fame came from making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever seen. Silicon Valley earned its place in history by giving us the personal computer, the cell phone and just about every other indispensable high-tech gadget you can think of.

In the aftermath of the dismantling of the steel industry, Pittsburgh was especially fortunate to have a world-class health care and university system. These gems allowed us to sidestep the ruinous fate that has befallen other Rust Belt cities such as Detroit and Gary, Indiana.

However, in the long run those regional assets will not be enough to elevate this metropolitan statistical area and its wealth back to the level it enjoyed during the middle of the last century.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/Biz-opinion/2014/02/15/Steel-health-care-and-future-wealth-of-our-robotic-region/stories/201402150066#ixzz2tPa3gmXI

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Tech Boom In Pittsburgh Gives Rise To Co-Work Spaces

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Revv Oakland founder Mark Mussolino approached Nathan Schwartz of Oakland Real Estate five years ago with a plan to make their community the city’s next startup hub, he happened to water a seed planted years earlier during visits to the West Coast.

During Mr. Schwartz’s time in Palo Alto, Calif., during the early 2000s, he was impressed by the buzzing small business district found on University Avenue, a boulevard running through Stanford University’s campus. Hiding among the businesses — mostly tech-driven startups run by Stanford students — was one tiny office with a small blue and white sign advertising a company called “The Facebook.”

Between the university brain trust in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and the booming demand from the region’s tech startups for innovative work spaces, Mr. Mussolino said it was easy for Mr. Schwartz to see the potential of discovering the next Facebook atop a Forbes Avenue storefront.

After the Schwartz family decided to use the Meyran Avenue space that formerly housed new-age smoke shop Tela Ropa in 2011, Revv Oakland — a 5,000-square-foot co-working community perched above a beauty supply store and Peace, Love & Little Donuts — was born.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/11/10/Pittsburghs-tech-boom-gives-rise-to-co-work-spaces/stories/201311100084#ixzz2kIxGfOn3

Portland, Peduto And Progressive Politics: Pittsburgh Is Poised For Creative New Ideas

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early Thursday, I tweeted a story from Salon that asked:  “Is Pittsburgh the Next Portland?”

The piece by longtime Pittsburgh fan Jim Russell originally appeared on the website Pacific Standard and opened with this provocative lead paragraph:

“What does a dying city look like? Brains are draining.  The population is shrinking or aging, or both.  Vibrant, creative class cool Portland is the antithesis of dying.  Yesterday, journalist Annalyn Kurtz tweets:  ‘See!  The Portland labor force lost 25,000 workers in the last year.’ ”

The next sentence was the real killer:  “What in the name of Richard Florida is going on here?”  Pittsburghers of a certain age will remember when Richard Florida was just a local phenomenon.  The Carnegie Mellon professor from 1987 to 2004 literally wrote the book on what constitutes a livable city.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/tony-norman/heres-a-city-poised-for-creative-new-ideas-688899/#ixzz2UH8bzcYV

Progressive Lancaster Takes Permit Parking Into The 21st Century

UPC-A barcode

Image via Wikipedia

Lancaster PA is a fairly progressive community that is embracing a modern technology to make permit parking easier for everyone.

Lancaster has 19 residential parking areas throughout the city.  Administration of the program is taking a giant leap forward that will make life better for everyone involved and save money.  Instead of issuing yearly parking stickers, the city will start issuing permanent parking stickers that will only need replaced if you sell your vehicle.  Most people keep a vehicle for at least four years so think of the savings right there!  There were nearly 2,500 stickers being issued every year.

The new stickers will be affixed to the right side of the vehicle’s rear window.  They will be round, orange and have a barcode.  The barcode will contain all the information parking enforcement needs to know about you and your vehicle.  This information will be available using the same technology as having your groceries scanned at the local supermarket.  Hand-held units will read the easy to find barcode and make enforcement a snap.

About 90 percent of all permit parking permit renewals have already been paid for 2011.  The low $20 fee pays for the administration of the program.  The fee has remained at $20 since 2003.

Business Incubator Hatches At York College

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

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I am always excited to report on these things! 

The 7,100-square-foot Kings Mill Depot is now open to any for-profit corporations in the start-up phase, small businesses entering a growth phase or existing companies launching new projects.  The best part is that the incubator is for firms dealing with technology, health care, sciences or engineering.  The incubator is all about creating good paying jobs that have a high growth potential.  Lord knows Pennsylvania needs decent paying jobs that will support families!

Applications are being accepted through the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College.  Faculty, staff and students are available to help with business development! 

Contact Jeff Vermeulen at (717) 815-6639 if your firm would like to take advantage of the awesome opportunity!

Bethlehem also has a very successful job incubator at Lehigh University.  You can also read about that here: https://roysrants.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/bethlehem-job-incubator-recepient-of-6-million-dollar-federal-recovery-act-grant/