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Champaign-Urbana named one of’s Most Promising Tech Hubs to Watch in 2014’s editorial staff researched some of the most exciting and innovative up-and-coming hubs for 2014. They looked for several factors, some of which are a little less tangible than others:

  • Cities that have, or are building out physical infrastructure including fiber optic rings; offer lower costs for utilities; and have available and low-cost office space.
  • Presence of high-tech industrial parks and incubators/accelerators.
  • A “startup culture” evident with smaller, informal meetups, “startup weekends” and co-working spaces.
  • People who are willing and anxious to spread the word about why their city is on the rise.
  • Presence of one or more universities.
  • Support from city government with innovative programs designed to encourage tech startup growth.

Excerpt from the article. (Full article here)

“The proximity to Chicago, the presence of a prestigious University, and the availability of Fiber all afford the city significant privilege as an emerging tech hub. Being centrally located, Champaign-Urbana is also home to a number of distribution centers, an industry itself on the forefront of our present tech boom.

Smaller startups have a solid opportunity at finding the support to grow in this ecosystem, thanks to a thriving tech social scene and support services from organizations like the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, which operates a Small Business Development Center that will advise business owners and direct them to any number of local resources.”