Thursday, February 28, 2008

YBI Scores

From Jim Cossler at YBI comes this announcement:

Our ever growing managed cluster of B2B software application companies in Downtown Youngstown grew a bit more with the approval Visual Impact Imaging and Eris Medical Technologies as new tenants.

Visual Impact Imaging provides high quality design software and other technical tools to the landscaping industry throughout North America. Eris Medical Technologies has developed software that is focused on identifying, benchmarking, correcting and tracking outpatient hospital and clinic missing revenue and charge capture opportunities. Both firms will be moving into the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) in about one month when YBI's new Taft Technology Center and renovated Semple Building open. Nine additional software companies are expected to follow within the next twelve months.

Yup. A three building campus loaded with world class software companies globally doing business from Downtown Youngstown.

Yes we can!

Congratulations YBI and Youngstown - too bad this wasn't featured in the New York Times article about the city.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Anyone for a sleigh ride?

Tonight was supposed to be my Youngstown connect with Brooke Slanina of Oakwood fame and writer Chris Barzak at Youngstown's very hip Rosetta Stone Cafe - snow and ice covered roads led us to postpone until Thursday the 14th. Can't wait - Chris and Brooke are two of Youngstown's best assets. Smart, funny and absolutely committed to the city's exciting transformation.

In the meantime I am reading The Vindicator's Special 2010 Report, Phil Kidd's Defend Youngstown Blog and trying to figure out if Twitter is right for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why Isn't Everyone Talking About The Youngstown Business Incubator?

Christopher Barzak, noted local author, and I met last month to discuss books and the relationship between art and civic pride. I had been spending more time in the Valley and Chris was bringing me up to speed on the latest happenings. Our discussion covered everything from books to business, and I was very impressed by the story of YBI. If you don't know, YBI located in the heart of Youngstown, Ohio, was the incubator for Turning Technologies, Inc., recently named the Number One on the Weatherhead 100 fastest growing companies in Northeast Ohio.

Turning Technologies isn't only garnering local attention - it ranked 18th on Inc. magazine's 2007 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the nation and 7th fastest growing small companies in the country by Entrepreneur Magazine.

YBI offers a series of Programs called Third Tuesdays at 3. The next program to be held on February 21st features Dr. Bahman Taheri, CEO of AlphaMicron talking about liquid crystal technology. Fore more information on YBI's innovative mission visit

Amazing what a few people with a good idea can accomplish.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Coming Home

In indigenous cultures it is said that you have the most power where you are born. If this is true, cities like Youngstown face an uphill battle. I grew up here and couldn't wait to leave; most of the people I grew up felt the same way. Many left and have never returned. They say you can never go home again, I disagree. I think we have to come home to remember who we are, where we came from and make a difference.

I came home and what I found in this, my old hometown, was surprising. There is a lively and engaging arts scene, new industries born out of emerging technologies' use of existing infrastructure, great restaurants, good people, and good times. Check back often for my reports as I explore the history and re-creation of this rust belt city.