Youngstown Apartments for Rent
Of all the cities in the world young, brilliant entrepreneurs would choose to start software businesses, Youngstown, Ohio might be last on their lists. Struggling to find a new identity for years, this ravaged steel town would not seem to be the ideal location for an up-and-coming technology company. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Youngstown, thanks to its innovative “Youngstown Business Incubator,” which has helped ignite a new fire in the city.
Situated on the Mahoning River, between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Youngstown enjoyed a surplus of coal, iron and “old growth” hardwood forests that allowed its industrialist developers to create a thriving steel industry. But Youngstown never became economically diversified, as many larger industrial cities did; when the decline of the industry forced the closure of plants, Youngstown lost more than 50,000 jobs and was left economically crippled.
Yet today downtown Youngstown is seeing a renaissance no one could have predicted, due in large part to the efforts of the Youngstown Business Incubator and its founder Jim Cossler. Youngstown Business Incubator, or YBI, was recently named the top-ranked incubator in the state of Ohio in terms of sales, payroll and outside investment, and city leaders are envisioning a campus of high-tech companies doing global business in downtown Youngstown in just a few years.
Business experts say there are four ideal location criteria for entrepreneurial start-ups: access to business capital and support services, access to supply chain and markets, access to knowledge and labor, and access to a balanced life. Tech startups in Youngstown have ready access to all of these resources are abundance.
The YBI offers budding tech companies consulting services, office space and bandwidth for free, or at least cheap. As Cossler tells Forbes magazine contributor Joel Kotkin, “Location is irrelevant for software companies. Customers don’t care where the software was made.”
Operational costs are less, and employees find the cost of living to be affordable. With a more stable economy, the city’s amenities become more attractive, as well. Parks include Mill Creek Park, on the National Register of Historic Places; and Wick Park, with its periphery lined with mansions built during Youngstown’s boom years. Youngstown State University serves about 13,000 students, and offers the lowest tuition of any public institution of higher learning in Ohio.