Regional Spotlight : Richmond, Virginia
Since its founding in 1607, Richmond, Virginia has been a strategic center of commerce and innovation on the East Coast. The city offers low business costs, robust financial programs, and an educated workforce with solid experience in the technical, scientific, and creative professions. It was recently designated by Forbes as a Top 10 up and coming city for entrepreneurs. It has also been named by FastCompany as one of the most underrated hotbeds of innovation.
Richmond continues to build the physical and human infrastructure needed to bolster a thriving business startup environment. The labor market offers talent at affordable costs, access to business accelerators, incubators and shared co-working office spaces, business pitch competitions that provide seed money, and a network of local angel investors who support a successful entrepreneurial climate. Aldrich Capital Partners, founders, Raz Zia and Mirza Baig, have personal connections to the city and have already invested there through the ACP portfolio company, Paymerang—recently named Richmond’s #1 tech startup.
Richmond’s location is perhaps its greatest strength. As the midpoint of the east coast, 55% of the nation’s population is within a one-day drive, with all major interstates converging in the locality. The city is located near several airports, is served by major rail services, and is a mere four miles away from its own port.
Five local major universities further enhance the attractiveness of Richmond as a city in which to do business. In addition to providing a large pool of talented workers, the higher education institutions partner with the government and businesses to create several research and development centers, which serve as hubs for the next wave of business and innovation.
In 2011, Richmond was ranked the 15th Happiest City for Young Professionals by Forbes and the Most Fun and Affordable City by Bloomberg Businessweek. Already a unique and advantageous city to live and work, Richmond is expected to continue growing as a center for business and innovation.