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Entrepreneurs Need Affordable Housing, Cheap Food and a Community That Believes in Them. In Erie...

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Entrepreneurs Need Affordable Housing, Cheap Food and a Community That Believes in Them. In Erie They Get All Three

Imagine, for a moment, someone just handed you $400,000.


You could get:

A 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom 600-square-foot apartment in San Francisco. We are not going to undersell you on this property. It’s gorgeous, has great views of the bay, and in terms of San Francisco real estate, is probably a great deal.

For less than half that, you could also:

· Buy a beautiful 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 2,000-square-foot home in Erie.

· Purchase a 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

· Get your hands on a decent used boat and cruise the Erie Bayfront on a warm summer night.

· Eat literally thousands of the best Greek burger (it’s a real thing, you’ll love it) in the whole country.


After paying for your house, your Jeep Gladiator, your boat, your cheeseburgers, and your gym membership to run those cheeseburgers off, you would still have more than $200,000 left—which happens to be a sizable amount of money you could invest in your Industrial Internet of Things, defense, or manufacturing-oriented startup.

We know the Bay Area has its advantages. The weather is amazing. The coastal and mountain areas of California are beautiful. The wineries are great. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a startup or a venture capital firm.


And you pay for every bit of that, and more.


The high cost of living forces people who call the Bay Area home to make difficult choices. San Francisco has one of the lowest per capita populations of children in the country, simply because it’s too expensive for most people to raise children there. And those apartments that rent for thousands of dollars a month are often occupied by a whole lot of people living in the same space.


Some people may love that—but as aspiring entrepreneurs get older, the appeal of sharing a few hundred square feet with other human beings disappears around the time doing a keg stand becomes socially unacceptable.


The cost of living is also one reason why Erie and communities like Erie are becoming a beacon for entrepreneurs—and we are not just talking about young people who can survive on Ramen and don’t mind sharing 600 square feet with eight other people.


At the Erie Innovation District, we hear how important the cost of living is to new entrepreneurs. One entrepreneur recently told us a low cost of living gave him the flexibility to quit his job and start his business, knowing it might be years before he could reach the salary he left. The low cost of living meant he could afford to make that decision without being panicked about paying his mortgage.


Silicon Valley will always be a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation.

But the average entrepreneur isn’t a recent college graduate who can afford to live the life of poverty Silicon Valley often requires.


According to research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of startup founders in high-growth industries is 40. High-growth startups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people ages 20-34.


To these demographics, cost of living matters.


That’s one reason why Erie and other heartland cities are receiving national recognition for attracting a growing number of entrepreneurs. In fact, the Erie region is one of the most affordable communities in America, and Erie County has a lower-than-average cost of living compared to the national average—and a higher quality of life.


(If you aren’t from here, and only know Erie from its portrayal in national news stories, you might find this whole message hard to swallow. Fair point. But why not find out for yourself? Throw back a Greek burger as the sun sets on an August Bayfront evening, and tell us we’re lying. You won’t—you’ll fall in love with Erie, just like we have.)


So, make the smart choice to join us in a smart city.


Start your startup in Erie and enjoy the big house, new Jeep, boat, and seed money you could have for the same price of an apartment in San Francisco.


(Now all you need to do is get someone to hand you $400,000.)

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