The Sunday Times of London, UK recently called Buffalo, NY “America’s coolest summer city” (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/buffalo-new-york-america-cool-summer-city-guide-dl0mgmvr2 ). According to Jon Purizhansky, Buffalo, NY has gone through an unbelievable turn around from being a backward Rust Belt town to a successful urban center full of talent, culture, and entrepreneurship, not to mention the sports.
Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo has seen billions of dollars of investments in Buffalo’s future. New York State pledged a Billion dollars through its Buffalo Billion initiative, which developed an organization called 43North that awards funds to entrepreneurs through an annual competition. This has catalyzed the development of a budding technology entrepreneurship scene in Buffalo.
When you visit the innovation center on Elicott Street downtown Buffalo and you see all the young technology entrepreneurs turning ideas into businesses, you see no difference between Buffalo, Boston or the Silicon Valley. The ambiance is the same – it’s energy, its confidence, it’s about building new things and it’s about the new Buffalo.
Another sign that the region has changed, according to Jon Purizhansky, is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), a collaboration between several downtown institutions, including Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University at Buffalo, and Upstate New York Transplant Services (Unyts). Since the commencement of operations, BNMC has created tens of thousands of jobs and entire neighborhoods that surround the BNMC have been revitalized, a truly remarkable development.
Jon Purizhansky also mentions the START-UP NY initiative, which has been launched as an incentive for entrepreneurs and small business owners to bring their business to New York State and operate tax-free for 10 years. Since the program’s beginning, over 70 companies have come to Greater Buffalo. This has not only resulted in many new jobs but has also led to an influx of millennials into the city of Buffalo.
Young professionals are now attracted to Buffalo by its hip urban environment combined with a relatively low cost of living. Since 2000, the number of college grads ages 25-34 living within a 3-mile radius of downtown Buffalo has risen 34%, one of the highest percentages among the country’s largest metro areas. So, according to Jon Purizhansky, not only Buffalo became full of opportunities for the youngest members of the workforce, it’s an affordable and desirable place to live, too.
To conclude, Jon Purizhansky says that Buffalo is not only rising up but may rather be in the path to its old glory, when it was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the United States of America.