RunningH20

Youngstown Technology Initiative

To Help A City Re-Emerge

What Is The Youngstown Tech Initiative?

The Youngstown Technology Initiative is an endeavor to build upon the enabling capabilities of technology and digital — in the areas of education, innovation, entrepreneurship, business, communication/connectivity, and social impact. Through initiatives, endeavors, scholarships, training, seminars, and promotion, the Youngstown Technology Initiative is set on making this a reality.

Education

Through a series and collection of workshops, training sessions, scholarships, and sponsorships, we will set forth the initiative to cultivate a highly technologically-educated population in the Youngstown area. We'll be making earnest atempts to work hand-in-hand with local schools from the elementary level onto the college level.

Through our own educational endeavor — CodeHearted, we'll be focusing our educational efforts towards, inner-city and/or marginalized youth. CodeHearted is centered around code-based programming and other Digitally-oriented skills. The emphasis will primarily be on teaching innovation.

CodeHearted's persepctive is that it isn't enough to just know how to code, but it's better serving to an individual AND their community to be able to produce something of value with the code languages and programming skill that they learn. In fact, CodeHearted isn't limited to educating just youth, but also 'returning citizens' — that is, those who've been released from prison and who'll likely face discrimination and difficulty with finding traditional employment.

Coding enables and empowers a person beyond just having the ability to become employable. That isn't really what coding is about. Rather, they will then be able to become an innovative force!

With a population of people with technological education and understanding, you open the door to all sorts of innovation and probelm solving ability that can benefit your local society. An educated populace has financial benefit potential, economic benefit potential, and the ability to keep the area in which they live and work on the cutting edge of innovation.

It also is a good way to keep a population safeguarded from dwindling. Without a tech-oriented population, a city or region won't be able to attract companies with high-paying jobs and benefits. Furthermore, this cuts an area out of economic benefits that arise from off-shoot/spillover business that happens when large companies come in.

Innovation

Innovation should be encouraged and enabled. The bottom line reason for the Youngstown Technology Initiative is to create an enviroment and culture where innovation can arise and thrive. An unhindered access to computer power, bandwidth, and digtial storage space should be available for all in the Youngstown area. It can't be argued that a scenario such as that is the breeding ground for all sorts of innovative ideas, tools, products, services, and entertainment creation.

Our goal is to set forth and/or engage in as much activity as possible that will help bring this scenario about.

Entrepreneurship

The Youngstown Technology Initiative is a full supporter of entrepreneurship. Actually, perhaps aside from innovation, it's entrepreneurship that is at the root of this initative. With an innovative environment in motion, it will undoubtedly give rise to commercial ideas and business models.

Business

We will be engaged in business development and assistance of many endeavors that are utilizing technology — Digital Technology in particular — as their driving force. We will also be proactive in this regard by launching native business endeavors of our own and launching them in the Youngstown area. Our businesses that we launch will be web-based, portable, and wherever possible — symbiotic.

One such business is Grubdom. This business is an online restaurant discovery platform which incorporates food ordering, table reservation, and delivery. Customers are able to browse menus of restaurants and place orders via the web for pick up or delivery. The orders are then delivered by specialists who have a notification app similar to other food delivery service platforms, in a symbiotic relationship of streamlined income.

It benefits restaurants and eateries by way of online discovery due to the powerful location-based search feature. Customers can search by cuisine, location, name, or specifc dish, and perhaps learn of restaurants that they never knew existed. This furthers the reach of restaurants who may be in locations not high-traffic or high-visibility.

This ecosystem provides restaurants with more customers (the data clearly shows that restaurants that offer online ordering see a substantial increase in sales — preventing forced closures of business in many cases.) Online ordering enables the restaurants to process more orders as opposed to simpy taking phone orders, which are limited to however many calls they're able to take at once. It provides an income source virtually out of thin air for delivery specialists since the demand for delivery is higher than ever with online ordering.

These revenue and income additions contribute to a growing tax revenue stream for any area in which these types of businesses operate — in this case, Youngstown, Ohio.

Another Youngstown based tech startup is Soundzie. Our development team has produced an online platform that connects music professionals — from musicians and studio engineers, stage hands and executives, to private instructors to event planners, and more. The platform works by using geolocation, with user account speciaialty and demand for a particular situational assistance. For example, if a band on tour needs to replace a saxophonist that has cancelled, then they can check Soundzie to see if there are any available in the area which they're performing.

With the addition of a subscription-based web platform, with a projected user base of 10,000 - 50,000, and at $1 monthly subscription fee, this is a business with a revenue stream of potententially $600,000 per year — not to mention the advertisement revenue. While a good portion of the necessary human resource will come from the area (in more aspects than just the technological positions, i.e. - administrative, adverstising, marketing, etc.), this begins the process of job and career creation from a tech-based company. This corporate tax will also be a great dose to the city economy.

The prestige of having multiple tech-based start-ups in Youngstown begins to foster a new identity for the area. To provide a real-world example of what was pointed out by Youngstown Forward in an article about the benefits of launching a tech a startup in Youngstown, this will set the tone for other businesses — tech-based businesses at that — to either launch or relocate to Youngstown as well.

Communication/Connectivity

Being able to connect to the Internet reliably and efficiently is key to the goals of the Youngstown Technology Initiative. Without secure, stable, and fast network and web connectivity, it can be difficult take part in innovation, education, business and entrepreneurship at the rate needed to stay on par with the rest of the world. Productivity in general can be stifled if you have a low level of connectivity.

Today's Innovative Economy rides on the rate at which you can access, store, and process information. Youngstown's connectivity speeds are considerably lower than the average of the U.S., and the world in general. As part of our initiative to further enhance and entrench technology into the culture of Youngstown, we will be active and proactive in any way that we can to ensure Youngstown is able to access the Internet — and as many of the cloud-based resources as possible.

We believe that we can do this by researching and reporting on ways to improve network and WiFi infrastructure. Furthermore, we are adamant about ensuring this connectivity for all to access, and to even playing fields in areas where it may be falling behind substantial levels. RunningH20 will seek to be involved, whether directly or indirectly, in setting up centers and labs that will contain computers connected to the Internet, or where WiFi connectivity is available for free.

Social Impact

The Social Impact goal of the Youngstown Technology Initiative is to foster an entirely new mindset in the city of Youngstown, and the region as a whole. Evident opportunity on the foundation of using technology is a ray of light for an area which is marked by despair, economic woes, and a dampened initiative towards education. When an area doesn't have a general sense of hope, it begins to manifest negatively for society. However, if the population in general has access to the world and it's resources, networks, institutions, and people in a fashion unhindered by cost, connection speed, and/or time — then the countenance as a whole begins to be lifted.

It's also important to note that when you're connected to the world, you're connected to the various cultures, the people that make up those cultures, and the methodologies and ideas of those cultures as well. Exposure to diversity has a tremendously positive impact upon people, and undoubtedly expands minds, understanding, as well as acceptance of others.

This new found environment of understanding and empathy has a positive impact which enters into the way that individuals understand and treat one another on a local level.

The impact on the social culture that a technologically advanced Youngstown would have cannot be overlooked.

Why The Youngstown Technology Initiative?

It is our perspective that cities and organizations that place their efforts upon a technological base — that is, using the power of connectivity/Internet/distributed systems, cloud-computing, Artifical Intelligence, on-demand services, blockchain digitally symbiotic relationships/ecosystems, Ecommerce, remote digital workforces, and similar to serve their agendas are the ones that will thrive.

Being that we are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and quite importantly and accutely — The Innovation Economy as a world society, it is an imperative for governments, educational institutions, businesses, organizations, and indivduals themselves to embrace the reality that their life in these aspects has been disrupted and will not return to the ways that they were prior to this technological disruption.

For more info about the Youngstown Technology Initiative, contact yti@runngingh20.com or contact us here.