September 27th 2012
By John Patrick Pullen
From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Alley in New York, it may seem that those areas have cornered the market on tech genius, but don’t be fooled. The internet is decentralizing business, allowing entrepreneurs to build smart, lean businesses in far-flung places.
These eight places may not leap out as startup hotbeds, but they’re making a name for themselves with investors and innovators alike. And tech entrepreneurs are flocking to these places to get their startups off the ground.
Why it’s hot: Like many cities that neighbor New York City, Stamford made a name for itself when big companies fled the big city for lower operating costs. But now, Stamford hopes to foster homegrown talent, and in a bold move to reinvent itself as a tech hub, it has transformed its old city hall into the Stamford Innovation Center.
Startups to watch: Backed by Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky, the 16,000-square-foot facility aims to lure entrepreneurs to join the likes of Weston, Conn.-based SynerScope, a big data information visualization firm that is a member of what locals call the iCenter. The facility ran its first Startup Weekend this summer, a 54-hour event that challenged participants to build a web business over the course of a weekend. Pitney Bowes also just closed submissions for its own sponsored tech competition at the iCenter. Winners will get a year of free office space at the document management company and access to its expertise.