Pittsburgh may have gone through some tough times in the 1980s when many of its steel mills closed, but thanks to its strong education and research base, the city has rebranded itself as a leader in medicine, the digital economy, and technology. Time magazine even recognized how far Pittsburgh has come in a series called "Pittsburgh: the Comeback." Plus, the city is a great place to raise a family: it has school districts that rank 61st and 64th on Niche's list of the best school districts in America.
Pittsburgh's relatively low cost of living, research universities, and generous tax incentives mean that tech business owners are flocking here, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And once they arrive, they're greeted by friendly neighbors (which comes as no surprise, given that the archetypal neighbor, Fred Rogers, hails from Steel City).
"One of the reasons that Pittsburgh is a great place to start and run a business is that the people are wonderful," says Anthony Gadient, CEO and president of Voci Technologies, Inc. "They're very friendly, have a great work ethic. In addition, the cost of living in Pittsburgh is much lower than, say, the Silicon Valley area or New York City, so that's certainly appealing for a new startup company. It's also a very livable city that has a growing entrepreneurial community."
Some of the organizations dedicated to growing the tech scene in Pittsburgh include Idea Foundry, an accelerator, and Innovation Works, which invests in and supports local tech entrepreneurs. It's also easy to connect and network with others in IT.
"It’s a very collaborative community," says Gadient. "If you've got a question or a problem and if you don’t know somebody, but you know somebody who might know somebody, they're happy to try and help. Pittsburghers would like to see Pittsburgh-based companies be successful and if they have knowledge or experience they are happy to share that."
Another resource Gadient recommends is the Pittsburgh Technology Council, which offers resources for locals in tech.
"They'll do everything from helping you to understand going out and raising funds to bringing in people to talk about new marketing ideas and techniques," says Gadient. "They host a number of very good events."
So there you have it. Family-friendly, helpful, and budget-friendly. What more could you want?!