The Tech Scene Is Growing Rapidly In Harrisburg, PA

Posted: Mar 24 2016, 10:44am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 25 2016, 8:37am CDT, in News | Technology News

 
The Tech Scene Is Growing Rapidly in Harrisburg, PA
photo: webpagefx.com

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What words or phrases spring to mind when you think about Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? There are many correct answers – and now “miniature Silicon Valley” can be counted among them.

Over the last few years, roughly 20 technology companies have either moved to, or gotten their start in, Pennsylvania’s capital city. You might think of it as a bit of a cultural renaissance for the region, as well as a boon to local employment. The technology boom has created more than 700 new jobs.

It’s no secret that the city has faced its share of challenges in recent years – and still does – but the rise of futuristic companies in the region would seem to indicate that Harrisburg’s brightest days still lie ahead of it.

The Domino Effect

According to Brad Jones, who works with the Harristown Development Corp., the booming tech scene in Harrisburg could have a long-lasting effect on both the city and surrounding area. With each new company that sets up shop, he says, other like-minded companies become more likely to follow suit.

So why is Harrisburg so attractive for up-and-coming tech outfits? There are several possible answers.

One of them is the fact that the greater Harrisburg area is friendly to growing businesses thanks to the robust development climate. Pennsylvania offers a variety of development grants to entrepreneurs of all stripes, and has gone above and beyond in encouraging startups by creating tax-free zones to encourage growth.

Local Success Stories

Bill Craig, founder of WebpageFX, built his Internet marketing and PR company from the ground up in Carlisle, but moved to Harrisburg in 2014. The difference, he says, is remarkable: “It’s probably one of the better moves we’ve made as a company to move to Harrisburg.” Since setting up shop in the capital, WebpageFX has more than doubled its workforce, and the company now receives 20 percent more job applications than it was getting before the move.

A Great Time for Millennials

Craig also praised the younger, local talent jockeying for a place at WebpageFX: “We hire a lot of millennials … It’s certainly a draw for some of the younger people to work and live in the city.”

Nearby Harrisburg University is a great source for some of that talent. Technology companies naturally want to migrate where the tech talent is – so what better place than a college town? Harrisburg University has seen a boom of its own in recent years, growing its student body to more than 3,000.

If forward-thinking business owners and a big pool of millennial talent doesn’t sound like the makings of a future technology mecca, we’re not sure what does.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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