Dayton has long suffered with an ageing infrastructure, an aging population base, an economy heavily dependent upon the US Government as a result of Wright-Patterson AFB being the largest employer, an erosion in traditional manufacturing, and a general malaise that has suppressed growth.
Even though Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis have done fairly well in recent times, Dayton has lagged behind in innovation and new company development. This is also somewhat disconcerting due to the rich tradition of engineering and innovation coming out of Dayton. The most prestigious private club in town always was the Engineers Club, where innovators, tinkers, creators, and thought leaders met for generations. This history reaches all the way back to the Wright Brothers and Charles Kettering.
Yet, as the area has struggled, Now Dayton seems to be breathing some new life into their ecosystem. Dayton’s startup ecosystem has always been rich, full of talent and partners that play an integral role.
Organizations like Nucleus CoShare and The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) are banding together to support the startups and founders in the area. The intent of this collaborative initiative is to create, caretake and evolve a comprehensive creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem for the greater Dayton Region.
These coalitions could be the start of something amazing and new. I am looking forward to the future!