Why ‘Start It Up Delaware’ is leading Wilmington as the First State’s tech hub
Delaware technologists want to join the national trend of vibrant local tech entrepreneurship hubs. A state-backed group called Start It Up Delaware is working on Wilmington as the gateway to its own success.
In the low light of a single lamp on the dark, unfinished floor of a historical commercial building in Wilmington, Delaware, sit a handful of entrepreneurs trying to sell ugly sweaters.None seem to suggest it’s their path to fame or fortune just yet. For now, it’s something of a hobby for this team of developers and designers who met through the
coIN Loftcoworking space on Market Street in the First State’s biggest city. The idea for
UglyOutfitters.com, which is, yes, a quirky, viral-ready ecommerce site for ironic sweaters, came out of
the last Startup Weekend Delaware.“We all need a little more ugly in our lives,” said the site’s cofounder
Brad Wason, a
personable civic hacker, with the kind of self-deprecating humor that comes from community organizers in lagging tech scenes today.
In 2010, the coIN Loft was launched by three Wilmington technologists who wanted the access to community and hub for innovation that they found in bigger cities. Today, coIN continues to be that hub for early-stage creative class tech in a state that often exports those residents to the larger tech communities of nearby big cities like Philadelphia.
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