Global Technology Firms Set Sights on the Great Lakes

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By: Andy Effler, Associate at JLL

Ohio-techTech giants have expanded their footprints, from Silicon Valley to the Great Lakes market.

JLL’s latest annual Technology Office Outlook identifies two Great Lakes’ cities, Detroit and Pittsburgh, as “sweet spots” for young tech companies. Factors that make this region so appealing to tech startups and giants alike, include:

  • Lower real estate and employee costs.
  • Affordable cost of living.
  • Improving local workforce quality.

Which tech giant has set up shop in your city? Read on to learn about the biggest tech names that are innovating and creating jobs across Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Great Lakes Region Leads the Way in Tech

Uber and Quotient are just two of the major tech names embracing the value Great Lakes cities have to offer. From their origins in major markets like Silicon Valley, discover why each company has planted roots in our cities.

Uber in Pittsburgh

Ridesharing pioneer, Uber (@Uber), selected Pittsburgh’s Strip District as the location for its robotics research lab last year. The facility will be devoted to innovation and research. To make the new research center a reality, Uber partnered with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) “to do research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.”

Quotient in Cincinnati

Quotient Technology Inc. (@Coupons), a leader in the digital switch for the multi-billion dollar promotions industry, announced it would expand its Cincinnati operations just last month. The company will move its office to the Kenwood Collection in Sycamore Township in June 2016.

A tech friendly marketplace and increasingly competitive talent continue to support Cincinnati’s growing economy. In a press release, the CEO of Quotient Steven Boal said, “We’re excited to be expanding our footprint in Cincinnati where we’ve had real success hiring top talent.”

Kimm Coyner, managing director of the Project Team and JobsOhio at Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is also, “… thrilled Quotient committed to the region to scale its business, drive the economy and create full-time jobs.”

All Eyes on Secondary Markets

Secondary markets across the U.S. are capturing the attention of the tech industry. According to JLL Research, “…more and more startup founders consider the viability of their hometown as a business location instead of relocating to San Francisco.”

Other tech companies in the Great Lakes include the likes of Twitter in Detroit, and more recently, a Google office in Farmington Hills near Detroit. A few years back, Entrepreneur even called Cincinnati “an unexpected hub for tech startups.”

In Ohio’s capital city, the tech scene is thriving. SmartAsset ranked Columbus among the top ten cities for tech workers. What’s more, Forbes listed Columbus at number 14 for cities of the future.

As major tech giants move their operations into smaller markets, each Great Lakes city will have the incentive to create more opportunities for up-and-coming tech startups.

Download the full 2015 Office Outlook for more details on Ohio’s tech scene.

About the Author

Andy EfflerAndrew (Andy) Effler is an Associate with the JLL Columbus, Ohio office.  Mr. Effler specializes in tenant representation, agency leasing, and real estate advisory for office tenants and investors within Ohio. Follow Andy on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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