How to Build a Startup Ecosystem In a Small City

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The following post originally appeared on Dyn.com, a world leader in Internet Infrastructure services for Managed DNS, Global Load Balancing and Email Delivery. Kyle York is an Incutio Board of Director, Chair/President of the abi Innovation Hub, advisor for several startups and primarily the Chief Revenue officer for Dyn, spreading his belief that Manchester, NH is the next great startup community. Go Big or Go Home.

When talking about our individual and collective efforts to create a startup ecosystem in Manchester, NH, our leadership consistently hears, “That’s great, but c’mon. What’s in it for Dyn?”

To answer this question, you must first understand our roots. Co-founders Jeremy Hitchcock (CEO) and Tom Daly (CTO) were both brought up in the greater Manchester area and attended Manchester high schools.

I met Jeremy in the halls of our middle school in the neighboring town of Bedford, way back in the mid 90’s. Gray Chynoweth (COO) grew up 20 minutes north in Canterbury and breathes the state motto of “Live Free or Die”, while our VP, Worldwide Sales, Josh Delisle, touts Amherst as his hometown.

Our VP, Finance, Joe Raczka, is a Bedford alum, just like Jeremy and I. Our VP, Client Services, Matt Toy hails from New London. Cory von Wallenstein (CPO)? Well, he bought in and moved here two years ago from Massachusetts to join the movement.

Like Cory, nearly every Dyn employee has bought in to the NH way of life and has their own unique story to tell.

For me, I grew up the middle child in a family of five sons. My parents worked their asses off and still own and operate a local sporting goods and screen printing business. They taught me everything I needed to know about business and community from a very early age, like trust and commitment, and never waver from that.

I went to college at Bentley in Waltham, MA, moved to California for a few years and was lured back home after being recruited by Jeremy. New Hampshire has a certain pride to it, a connection and pull for people who grew up and/or live(d) here.

It’s hard for outsiders to understand. It can be hard for us to explain.

Many people know of NH because they vacation here, but we have long been recognized as being a great place to live, to raise a family and is often designated a small business oriented state. We couldn’t agree more, but with one difference.

I always say that entrepreneurs of yesterday opened up sporting goods stores (like my folks), pizza parlors, jewelry businesses and flower shops, while entrepreneurs of today do the same, just online in a global marketplace with a global audience.

The entire startup mentality is based around this “stick it to the man” attitude, but we simply have the Internet (ex: a domain name thanks to the best managed DNS company on the planet) as our home address, not Main Street in a traditional brick and mortar location that requires foot traffic to stay alive.

We are at the center of the business landscape of the state and we always challenge ourselves to be the next Boulder, CO, or Austin, TX, when it comes to startup hubs. Here’s what a local publication said about our quest.

Our parents set the foundation for us to care about community, to care about the local economy, to realize our ability to leave an impact in creating jobs, creating wealth and creating relevance. We could run our business anywhere, but we choose to do it here. In Manchester, we aren’t just another tech company in the crowd and want to leave a legacy for our kids and grandkids.

Yes, it’s idealistic. Yes, it’s a naïve. Yes, it’s bold dreaming. But I actually think that’s the great inspiration for it all.

With our involvement in organizations like (see DynCares): abi Innovation Hub, NH High Technology Council, TechHampshire, StayWorkPlayNH, SNHU, The Community College System of NH, NH Catholic Charities, Big Brothers Big Sisters NH, US First, Families in Transition and the Manchester Young Professionals Network and in startup advising/boards/investment/founding like: Trendslide, Mosaic, Incutio, Ruustr, Carrier Pigeon, salesonrails, 1band 1brand and more, we’re just now scratching the surface. Dyn is our launching pad and it’s engrained in our culture and brand.

So back to the question of “What’s in it for Dyn?” Isn’t it obvious? We grew up here. We love it here, especially the work/life balance you can create. We believe in the NH advantage when it comes to limited taxes, no traffic, low crime, affordable housing, good schools and access to lakes, beaches, mountains and Boston. Heck, people even tweet about it with the hashtags #MHT #NH. (Okay, maybe we started that, but still.)

It truly is all about the people. We promise long-term opportunity to everyone we recruit and hire at Dyn. By creating an innovation and technology ecosystem in NH, we’re creating a foundation to be able to prove it long-term. At Dyn, we’ve established a wonderful foundation to build upon. So, when people ask us again, “What’s in it for Dyn?,” we’ll simply share this blog post.

If you have interest in starting or moving your company to NH, please contact Jamie Coughlin, CEO at the abi Innovation Hub at Jamie@abihub.org or drop us a line at hello@dyn.com. I’m also easy to find right here in New Hampshire if I’m not globe trotting the world.

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