Erie, PA Is Better Than Silicon Valley
People ask, "Erie, PA? Not Silicon Valley?"
Here are the reasons why I can't find a better location to start a technology company than in Erie.
- Fun, easy-going employees who not only understand teamwork, but truly pull together in such a way that we have a multiplicative effect (the synergy that you hear about but rarely experience). It shone brightly during this holiday season and throughout CES, and I am so proud of every single employee and so honored that they are working for us.
- Fantastic local pool of hard-working, motivated, excited, and dedicated employees who drive through inches of snow to get to work and put in extra hours over the holidays season to get the orders out, while pulling in neighbors, friends, and an entire softball team. People in Erie, PA are hungry for jobs that let them grow professionally, apply their degrees to an exciting company, and provide opportunities to have a ton of fun while working really hard.
- A business support community that embraces technology businesses and pour their hearts into helping us succeed. These groups include Erie Technology Incubator (by Gannon University), eMarketing Learning Center (by Penn State Behrend), Northwest Commission, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Erie Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, and the Small Business Development Centers at Gannon and State College. We are top-of-mind of all of these groups, and they provide us with free or low-cost services to grow our brands.
- A wonderful State (Pennsylvania) government that has organized business support communities to teach entrepreneurs, give them free international export assistance, manufacturing advice, and many many other sponsored services.
- Yes, we were one of 11 top products at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas according to WIRED magazine, a CES Innovations Award Honoree in the headphones category, and one of four headphones nominated for Digital Trends's Top Technology Awards. We're also on newspapers in Turkey, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. Huffington Post wrote an entire article about us, and FORTUNE used us as a cover photo for their CES article. I'm now a syndicated Getty Image, and I was one of few people Mario Armstrong had coffee with this CES. Yes, we were really really cool this CES, and yes, we grew up in Erie, PA.
- In May, when we were accepting the Governor's Impact Awards (one of the top 50 in the State), we had just moved from the Bellefonte/State College, PA area to Erie. They asked me why we chose Erie, and I wasn't sure yet. Now, it's clear, and I encourage start-up businesses to stay in Erie or move to Erie. If you're looking for smart, talented employees with a lot of heart and a business environment that roots for you, come to Erie, Pennsylvania.