Silicon Valley, California is home to some of the most successful and well-known tech companies in the world. By acting as a hub for tech innovation, it’s a place where startups can get access to the resources they need to build upon their ideas and be better positioned for success.
In addition to the fact that this tech hub is all the way on the other side of the country, there’s another significant concern that keeps East coast entrepreneurs from heading West to take advantage of this tech hub: The once-affordable place to live and work has seen drastic increases in the cost of living, making it difficult for those just starting out in the industry to afford.
That’s why main street communities throughout America are beginning to explore the possibility of becoming tech hubs as well, the mutual benefits being that the local economy will thrive while entrepreneurs and startups will be able to access vital resources in areas where the cost of living is ideal. Here’s why we’re working towards our own #SiliconMainStreet right here in Westminster, MD.
Maryland: Home to the Largest Tech & Cyber Workforce
The keys to success in Silicon Main Street efforts are a workforce that accommodates new and growing tech businesses, and accessible resources that startups need to bring their ideas to life. As home to some of the nation’s most impactful data science and cyber organizations, Maryland already has a continually-developing workforce of tech innovators.
With organizations like the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), NASA, and John’s Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, Maryland has the largest workforce of nation-state data science and cyber professionals in the world. Focusing on cyber-related organizations specifically, our state leads the nation as a cybersecurity hub due to our qualified workforce, startup investment opportunities, and close proximity to key buyers.
Westminster: An Ideal Community for Tech Innovation and Growth
Since one of the main challenges startups face in Silicon Valley, CA is the extremely high cost of living, Silicon Main Street efforts are focused on establishing tech hubs in geographical areas where it is more affordable to both live and work. Along with its lower cost of living, Westminster, MD is home to a friendly and welcoming community that appreciates new ideas and encourages collaboration. Students interested in technology and cybersecurity can get the education and training they need to succeed right here in our town. Colleges and local universities have already established specific programs that focus on tech-specific skills in a variety of industries, but there are two additional resources in Westminster’s community that are here to help the local residents and economy thrive:
Ting Westminster: Our Established Gigabit Fiber Infrastructure
Although its benefits to the community were visible before the pandemic, Westminster’s institutional gigabit fiber network proved to be an even more valuable resource once many residents began working remotely. A strong, reliable, and fast Internet connection is essential to running a successful business in 2020, especially when the business requires flawless connectivity for day-to-day operations. The City of Westminster made the investment in their fiber network to improve innovation and economic development in our city, and has already seen the positive impact that their secure and robust network is making on local businesses and, in turn, the local economy.
MAGIC: Building the Tech Ecosystem Westminster Deserves
By providing unique tech experiences for students, entrepreneurial education, and a space for those interested in technology to collaborate and innovate, MAGIC is building a tech ecosystem in Westminster, MD that leverages the gigabit fiber infrastructure to position the city as a main street-based hub for technology.
MAGIC understands that when a community has the motivation and opportunities to work together, anything is possible. That’s why we have established tech collaboratories: physical, virtual, and temporary spaces where students, techies, artists, creatives, scholars, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders work together to solve complex problems. This is where innovation happens and the entrepreneurial spirit thrives.
Westminster has the workforce development, tech opportunities, community resources, and affordable cost-of-living that are all vital to succeeding as a tech hub in Maryland. With continuing dedication and efforts to maintain and improve upon what we’ve already established here in our city, we believe Silicon Main Street is just around the corner.