About Erie and the Erie Innovation District
Erie has been known as a test market for years, largely because of the quality of corporate companies and representative demographics of the population. Erie has been known to produce great talent in the security space every year. Moreover, the cost of living in Erie is exponentially lower than that of other major cities but is still close to many of the startup hubs in the Midwest.
We have a unique public-private partnership underlying our approach to operations that enables entities to work with exposure to the local business and local government environments. We’re creating an ecosystem with the Secure Erie Accelerator that will lead to operational testing and evaluation of products within this test market.
The Erie Innovation District (EID) is an organization seeking to reshape the city and promote economic growth. The EID is pursuing three main initiatives: startup incubation and investment, technology partnerships, and competition.
Startup incubation and investment
This initiative strives to encourage new cyber-business creation and accelerate business growth with partnerships from major companies that have interests ranging from IT to Insurtech. After its completion, the accelerator can connect the startups in the cybersecurity, data science, and intelligence solutions community.
By building partnerships and collaborations with local universities and companies, the EID will emerge as a center for regional and global cybersecurity that establishes a next-gen Secure Smart City designation for Erie. Such a designation will signify Erie’s intention to be a destination that efficiently manages resources and invests in infrastructure and human and social capital to fuel sustainable economic development in a safe and secure connected environment. The new partnership networks built by the EID will fuel the design and development of the future analytics of secure connected devices, sensors, and systems.
As a catalyst for its capabilities and value proposition to startups and investors, the EID is launching a connected cities global impact challenge. This open innovation event will engage people locally, nationally, and internationally, challenging them to respond to significant areas of need and connecting the EID with centers of innovation around the world, such as those in Israel. In turn, this effort will catalyze others to create outposts and jobs for cost-effective US growth based in the EID.
The Midwest is on the Map
2016 alone saw at least $14 Billion of private investment activity in future mobility across more than 200 deals, driven by significant investments from both traditional venture capital funds and automotive corporate venture arms, often in partnership with one another. Matching Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and innovation acumen with Midwest automotive manufacturing and technical expertise is yielding one of the most prolific cross-country regional partnerships in the history of the U.S., with West Coast startups from Peloton to Uber choosing to establish significant operations in logistically-advantaged locations in Midwestern cities. Several new vertically-focused accelerators and venture funds have already taken root in the Midwest to capitalize on this nascent—but currently unsatisfied—opportunity set.