In a study of the most promising investment locations in the U.S., fDi Magazine – a Financial Times publication – has named Wilmington as the leading American City of the Future in the Micro City classification.
Out of 428 locations studied, Wilmington was awarded the honor based on having the highest number of outward Foreign Direct Investment projects per 100,000 people. Helping it top the rankings for Micro Cities in the Economic Potential category.
Even more good news came earlier this week, when telecommunications company Frontier Business released their 10 friendliest state’s for business, with Delaware landing 7th on the list.
Frontier Business’s research included factors such as technological infrastructures (broadband speed, access, business bundles etc.) with economic climates, workforce education, and overall quality of life in each state and region.
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This is great news for the state’s technology sector, which would like to see more start-up companies. Delaware is already home to a large corporate and growing start-up community in financial technology “fintech.”
Fintech is becoming a game-changer, both for financial and technology sectors. Investments are pouring in fintech globally. Fintech grew 11 percent in 2016 making it a $17.4 billion industry. Even traditional banks, have acknowledged the disruption caused by fintech and are making moves of their own to keep pace.
Wilmington is in prime position to be a fintech leader not only because it is home to the banking giants; JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, Capital One and more. But more importantly because of the growing demand for skilled workers.
Zip Code Wilmington, the first nonprofit coding school, began offering Delaware’s first 12-week boot camp in computer programming in late 2015. The school provides graduates with a 6-month job at one of a dozen Delaware businesses. Those employers pay a placement fee that covers all but $3,000 of the students’ tuition, while paying graduates an average salary $62,000 year.
In less than two years, Zip Code has added a second programming course and has moved to The Mill Space, a entrepreneurial and startup co-working space, located in the Nemours building in downtown Wilmington.
“There’s certainly a lot of synergy being here with the energy they have at The Mill,” she said. “The startup atmosphere and innovation that’s going on is what we’re really looking forward to being a part of and contributing to, as well.” Said Melanie Augustin, Head of School at Zip Code.
Zip Code joins fintech startup Fair Square Financial at The Mill. Fair Square recently launched a new consumer credit card under the name “Ollo”, which is targeted to meet the needs of a large population of previously underserved consumers.
Other finch companies making headlines include, College Student Loans, a Wilmington-based fintech startup that offers students loans online, who recently scored a $30 million investment deal. And SoFi, an online provider of personal loans, which plans to add an additional 400 workers to its Claymont office by the end of 2018.
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