Technopreneurs Establish Kingston, New York as "Digital Melting Pot"

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Kingston Digital Corridor in partnership with the city of Kingston, New York announces a new tech-friendly initiative designed to grow the city's booming creative-tech entrepreneur community.

If Kingston, N.Y., the State's original Capitol located just 90 miles north of Manhattan, had a Statue of Liberty in its Rondout Harbor, it would read "Give us your geeks, your digerati, your cyber masses yearning to breathe free."

An influx of digital entrepreneurs, or "technopreneurs," is transforming Kingston into a center for like-minded, technologically-forward small business owners, creating a new economy for this historic city. Documenting and promoting Kingston's digital revolution is a new organization, KingstonDigitalCorridor.org. The non-profit, grassroots organization's president Mark Greene, owner of Emmy Award-winning Pecos Design, says that technopreneurs have grown to such numbers in Kingston that they are becoming one of the small city's largest industries.

"Kingston's collective of technopreneurs is staggering," says Greene. "We estimate more than 500 spread out along the Uptown to Downtown corridor. Our group was established to bring attention to this industry, to promote an atmosphere of collaboration among our members, and to share the secret: Kingston is THE place to locate your tech-based small business."

A combination of many desirable factors has brought this new breed of small business owner to Kingston, which sits nestled between the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River. The proximity to New York City makes it easy to service clients remotely and in person. Housing and commercial building prices are extremely low compared to the inflated prices found in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the other boroughs. Since these businesses simply require an office and an internet connection, many space options are readily available that can accommodate them. And for those still looking to enjoy the cultural aspects of city living, Kingston offers a wealth of art, music, events, restaurants, cafes and other gathering spots that bolster a sense of community.

The new Kingston Digital Corridor (KDC) organization is a private and public partnership between active citizens, the City Council and Mayor James Sottile. Over the last five years, Kingston has become a sought-after destination for programmers, animators, web content providers, video editors and a wide range of other digital contractors and micro businesses. KDC will encourage interaction between this disparate group of individuals while fostering an atmosphere that attracts others from outside the region to relocate within the city limits.

"Kingston has Emmy and Grammy award-winning micro-business owners living and working right here," Mayor Sottile told the Council recently. "This new effort will enhance our art-friendly atmosphere and mix a perfect blend of art and technology in a small city environment."

Kingston's digital economy has been growing for many years and has recently seen a further uptick due to the global economic downturn. "As companies lay off permanent staff during this crisis they are turning to independent contractors to meet their marketing and creative needs," says Greene. He adds that Kingston's digital trend hasn't just begun, but is in full swing. "With the opening of the 721 Media Center two years ago and the voter-approved plans to convert the historic Carnegie Library into a digital learning center, Kingston is building the kind of brick and mortar assets that anchor a tech-friendly community. KDC is shining a bright light on an industry that has been established here for years, but has been mostly unknown because the businesses involved have one, two, maybe three employees."

Greene explains that incorporating these businesses into a collective force represents a significant influence in the city. "KDC members are typically young professionals who buy or rent homes, contribute to the local retail economy, are active in social and community activities, and become part of the pulse of the city," says Greene.

In addition to producing events that promote the collaboration of technopreneurs in the region, KingstonDigitalCorridor.org organizers will stage a "siege" on Brooklyn in the coming months, chartering a bus to "capture" some interested technology-based small business owners and bring them to Kingston. Visitors can expect a tour, a party, and some inside information on Kingston real estate deals.

A "Fast Track KDC Approved" real estate package, created in cooperation with public and private partners, will be rolled out April 8th at Kingston City Hall. The package connects prospective commercial and residential buyers with real estate agents and lenders who understand the finances of tech entrepreneurs.

About KingstonDigitalCorridor.org:
KingstonDigitalCorridor.org is a non-profit, grassroots organization for the thriving community of creative digital entrepreneurs who live and/or work along the Broadway corridor in Kingston, New York. Over the last five years, Kingston has become a sought-after destination for programmers, animators, web content providers, video editors and a wide range of other digital contractors and micro businesses. Because of the urban feel and wealth of architectural, cultural and natural assets, Kingston is becoming known as "Brooklyn on the Hudson." And it's fast becoming the destination of choice for New York City digital entrepreneurs looking to move north and enjoy the natural wonders and cost savings of the Hudson River Valley.

For more information, please visit http://www.kingstondigitalcorridor.org

All media inquiries should be directed to Paul Rakov, Director of Communications at (845) 750-6442

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