US Chamber official: Region has ingredients to be part of the next wave

J.D. Harrison, senior director, strategic communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. spoke at an annual economic development luncheon. (Photo courtesy of

The tri-county region “has the ingredients” necessary to support and be part of the second wave of technology startups that will drive an ongoing digital revolution.

But it will take some work, writes Donna Rovins in The Times Herald.

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That was the message Thursday from J.D. Harrison, senior director, strategic communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His comments came during the chamber’s annual economic development luncheon.

Harrison said the region has wealth, high income and capital, is surrounded by great school and has a vibrant, diverse population.

“And of course — there are supportive and encouraging and active leaders who want to create a region where technology and innovation can thrive,” he said.

Harrison shared results of the U.S. chamber’s recently released “Innovation that Matters” study that examined the health of startup companies in 25 American cities and their readiness to capitalize on the shift to an increasingly digital economy.

Cities were ranked in several areas including: access to capital, connectivity and willingness of the area to embrace technology.

For the third year, Boston and the Back Bay area led the rankings. That area, according to Harrison, has been home to startups for a long time and “continues to be a premier destination for tech startups.”

Philadelphia was third, up from eighth last year. Harrison said the city has a rich entrepreneurial history and there are strong efforts to build relationships between entrepreneurs, investors and the public and private sectors.

He started his talk by asking the group to remember a time when there were no iPhones, androids, smartphones, Facebook or Twitter.

“If you needed a map, you unfolded it,” he said.

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