Does Delaware have what it takes to build a thriving tech ecosystem?
What’s keeping startups afloat in major tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Boston? What about smaller hubs in and around the Northeast Corridor — like D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia?
I think there are two components to the antidote: being in a place where startups are the cool thing to do, and chance meetings with people who can help you. And what drives them both is the number of startup people around you.
That’s what programmer and venture capitalist Paul Graham wrote in a 2011 essay called “Why Startup Hubs Work.” Delaware — Wilmington in particular — is most definitely a place where startups are the “cool thing to do.” Between startups and freelancers at coIN Loft, the growing number of tenants occupying 1313 Innovation and the steady stream of entrepreneurs being churned out of University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, there’s excitement, for sure.
But these days, that can be said for just about any environment — from midwestern cities like Lincoln, Nebraska and Cedar Rapids, Iowa to northeastern towns like Burlington, Vermont and Portland, Maine. In 2015 America, launching a startup is a “cool thing to do” no matter where you are. The idea of the “rise of the rest,” as espoused by investor Steve Case and others, means that all these places are in play for innovation, forming a pulsing constellation of tech entrepreneurship.