Take a look around. Providence is Travel + Leisure's "number one favorite city in America." It's a place where the mighty entrepreneurial forces of grit and intellect come together. Immerse yourself in a talent base of world-class designers, scientists, technologists and "artrepreneurs."
The geography of innovation is shifting. Innovators want to be in cities where talent and networked assets are prolific.
Academic researchers, medical scientists, foodies and fabricators, alike, enthuse that Providence is the perfect place to grow a company. The small scale of PVD allows entrepreneurial connections to form easily. Relationships are deep. Interesting intersections of people and ideas happen naturally.
Yes! Providence, too, is an elite college town with twelve institutions of higher education acting as potent drivers of our local economy. Providence is at the epicenter of New England's overall repository of academic and medical brain power.
Launching a venture can be faster and easier in a smaller marketplace like Providence where people, networks and expertise are at your fingertips. And word is spreading. The city was recently named one of the Top 15 places to "found" an entrepreneurial company outside Silicon Valley and New York. Reasons include a favorable cost of living, intellectual and cultural capital, and a high density of young start-ups. More than 30 Fortune companies with $435 billion in sales and one million employees are located within a 70 mile radius of Providence. The geography of innovation is shifting back to the core of cities.
GQ magazine says the capital of Rhode Island "has always punched above its weight in terms of smarts and creativity. But lately Providence has added a few new bullet points to its résumé—like a celebrated food scene and a high-style party hotel—that cement its rep as the coolest city you haven't been to. Yet."
Boston Magazine says, "Ah, Providence: land of intergalactic funk, Guy Fieri-approved Italian food, and Danny Amendola’s ugly carport. In the same vein, WalletHub has named Providence the most fun city in New England. The accolades spanned three dimensions: entertainment and recreation (number of public beaches, sports venues, festivals, and ice cream shops per capita), nightlife and parties (time of last call, number of dance clubs per capita, open container laws), and costs (average beer and wine prices, cost of living, number of affordable restaurants).
Providence is diverse, with sophisticated dining and culture ---- a key lifestyle differentiator. As a university town, you will find lots of places to hang out with like-minded risk-takers to develop your next great idea. Why get lost in the crowd when you can have it all right here? Providence is a great place to work, reside and have a life! We were recently ranked No. 2 in the country on the "Top 10 Best Downtowns," No. 1 in America for "most exciting mid size cities," No.1 by Architectural Digest as the country's best small city, America's No. 1 "favorite city" by Travel + Leisure magazine, and No. 9 as "best pizza city" in America.
As a tightly networked region, Greater Providence and Greater Boston are geographically one and the same. To be sure, Providence has its own identity and all-star characteristics. Students, young professionals and innovators are everywhere. Start-up capital in the region is plentiful. Our world-class research institutions are eager to crank out businesses and social enterprises with a ferocious pace. Entrepreneurial companies find that there is plenty of talent here to keep their growth trajectory steep. And big plans are now being executed.
Take A Fresh look at Providence
Providence is where General Electric is building components for the nation's first off-shore wind farm in ocean waters off Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind's mammoth supply chain is drawing entrepreneurial interest from all over the world.
And in a nod to the city's strong tech talent pipeline and top-tier universities, GE Digital is planting another flag in the ground, locally. The company will be locating an information technology center in the city, with more than 100 engineers, data scientists and designers set to work on the company's industrial internet platform.
A.T. Cross, the maker of fine writing instruments and accessories, is consolidating its design and development divisions in The Foundry complex. Cross has been a proud Rhode Island employer for 170 years, providing people all over the world with one of the most memorable gifts you can give," said A.T. Cross CEO Robert P. Baird Jr. "We are thrilled to have moved back to Providence and to be building our future there, with new headquarters and a new Cross Store."
South Street Landing in the city's Innovation & Design District will open on the waterfront in the spring of 2017 bringing to market the most advanced nursing education center anywhere in the world, with a hotel, signature retail, and graduate student housing also part of the mix.
On an adjacent waterfront parcel, Wexford Science + Technology and CV Properties are leading ambitious efforts to create a mixed use innovation complex. With Johnson & Johnson and the Cambridge Innovation Center as prime tenants, they investing $250 million to build incubator, wet lab, research, office space and a 12,000 square foot "District Hall." Wexford works exclusively with universities, academic medical centers and major research institutions to build vibrant mixed use communities that drive innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
Luxury and boutique hotels are popping up across the downtown landscape. The city currently has 2,300 rooms, and another 441 rooms are proposed to come on line. In addition to South Street Landing, First Bristol Corporation has broken ground on a 120-suite extended stay hotel by Hilton. The Procaccianti Group is getting final permits for 154-room Marriott Residence Inn. The Sarchi Group is working to produce a 76-room Best Western GLo hotel, a boutique option aimed at millennial travelers. Hotel Associates LLC has proposed a Holiday Inn Express to cater to budget conscious visitors. Several existing hotels have just completed extensive renovations, as well, to prepare for the surge in new investment.
Providence is a place where the costs are reasonable, the energy is contagious, and the creative talent is right at home. Want to know more?
PVD News at-a-glance
- GE Digital is building a design center for its IoT operations.
- Wexford Science + Technology is investing $270 million in an innovation campus.
- The Cambridge Innovation Center is opening "District Hall" and a related coworking facility.
- Deepwater Wind is launching the nation's first off-shore wind farm.
- Virgin Pulse is relocating its corporate headquarters to be close to be closer to global giants in predictive analytics.
- Johnson & Johnson is creating a health care research platform to plumb the next generation of scientific discoveries.
- South Street Landing will be home to the world's most sophisticated nursing education facilities.