When it comes innovation and tech, we all know about the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor, New York, Boston and Silicon Valley, but if you look beyond the bright lights of the big cities, there are tons of smaller tech hubs that are making impressive waves, despite their size — maybe even because of their intimate, tight-knit ecosystem.What’s more, many of these hubs are helping regions adapt, as local economies shift away from traditional sectors like manufacturing and begin to embrace the global tech boom.
Here are 5 tiny tech hubs making a world of difference by reinvigorating economies across North America and developing innovative technology for everything from aquaculture to mining to health care.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada*
Traditional economy: agriculture, fishery, tourism
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Traditional economy: government, health care, manufacturing (chemical)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Traditional economy: manufacturing (auto, aviation and furniture), health
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Traditional economy: health, education, government
Local accelerator: Northern TechHub
Hoboken, New Jersey
Traditional economy: university, publishing
While researching and writing this list, it became evident how little is written about small tech hubs outside of North America.
DRIVE, a new global conference on scaleup ecosystems that Hockeystick is hosting with the Lazaridis Institute, will bring together international policy-makers, researchers, accelerators and successful tech CEOs, to compare best practices and highlight bold ideas.
DRIVE will host thought-leaders from around the world — including Canada, the U.S., the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Nigeria, Kenya, France, Israel, Ireland, South Korea, and England.
It will be an opportunity to learn how exactly regional tech ecosystems around the world foster innovation and build thriving, liveable communities.
With keynote speakers like renowned urban theorist Richard Florida, professor and entrepreneurship ecosystem pioneer Daniel Isenberg, and international angel investor and advisor Deena Shakir, it’s sure to be filled with informative and exciting discussions.
Do you have a tiny tech hub we should know about? Even better, do you live and work in one? Let us know! We’ll be continuing to highlight more hubs throughout the year.
*Full disclosure the author was born and raised on Prince Edward Island.