Last week, I wrote about the resources State College has to offer entrepreneurs. Just as important as local resources is the kind of business you can have in State College. You don’t have to be in the Bay Area to think outside the box in terms of corporate culture. So if you’re thinking about a startup in Silicon Valley, let me argue why you should make your business’s home in Happy Valley, instead.
Most of what we admire about Silicon Valley companies is achievable in a town like State College. Flexible work schedules, creative weirdness, and company allegiance don’t depend on zip code. Here in State College we have a culture of businesses where engineers and technologists are highly admired, working hard at successful companies–without the multi-hour commutes, high cost of living and extreme competition found in Silicon Valley.
Happy Valley makes sense from a business perspective, too. At Videon we aren’t physically close to our high-tech customers, but they do business with us nonetheless. We have daily conversations with companies like Intel and Sony and Samsung and Google, not because of our location but because of the excellent work we do. People seek us out.
So here we are in a county where we can afford houses, bike over mountains, support local farmers and still reach major east coast cities in a half day’s drive. We can reclaim our time: putting in a long day of work but with a ten minute commute instead of two hours on the freeway. We can find the best parts of Silicon Valley right here in Happy Valley.