When you hear the name Lancaster, Pennsylvania, you probably imagine members of the Amish community driving their horse and buggies, miles upon miles of farmland and Turkey Hill Dairy. That may accurately describe Lancaster county, but Lancaster city is another story. You would never guess that this city is actually a growing hub for innovation in the technology industry.
In a “glocal” world in which much of business is done virtually, it’s no longer necessary that office headquarters be located in big cities like in New York or San Francisco. With Lancaster’s cost of living below current tech hubs like Seattle and Boston, startups can save money by choosing small, up-and-coming cities like this one.
Why Lancaster? For starters, the city has shown rebirth with revitalization programs, free Wi-Fi and cultural events like First Friday – things that attract young people and new talent which in turn, will encourage new ideas and innovation in the city. These aspects are helping the city to become a tech hub, which is something that seems highly unlikely in a rural area.
Though a bigger name than Lancaster, Tel Aviv, Israel is another unexpected city that is making waves in the technology industry. According to Venture Beat, the leading source for news, events, groundbreaking research and perspective on technology innovation, Tel Aviv was listed as the fifth best startup ecosystem globally and the top tech site outside of the United States in 2015.
The startup culture in this city thrives because Tel Aviv offers tax reductions to entrepreneurs and startups looking to set up their business. In addition, free Wi-Fi, cultural events and co-working spaces where entrepreneurs can brainstorm and work together on ideas are common.
“The value of fostering cooperation rather than competition lies not only in conversation and idea sharing, but in the creation of stronger networks of entrepreneurs who want to help each other,” said Hila Oren, founder and former CEO of Tel Aviv Global, an initiative dedicated to elevate the city’s global positioning. “Ultimately, individual entrepreneurs looking to help each other out will lead to faster growth and more success for the overall ecosystem.”
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, people who work in co-working spaces thrive more than people who work in regular offices. If you’re curious about co-working spaces closer to home, Lancaster’s Warehouse 210 is a co-working environment with private offices and conference rooms to collaborate with other professionals. Free coffee and a video/photo studio are added perks along with plenty of opportunities to network.
Although these two cities are in different countries, Lancaster and Tel Aviv have more in common than you think. Both cities are becoming hubs for innovation in the technology industry because of a few key reasons: free Wi-Fi, low cost of living and camaraderie. Hopefully more companies will decide to make a great career move to an unexpected city like Lancaster, a city teeming with opportunities and innovation.