What began as a marketing tactic grew into a rebranding achievement. The idea was to bring prosperity back to the greater Albany area while creating a competitor to California’s Silicon Valley. This initiative became known as Tech Valley, cleverly coined after the high-tech companies who called the area home and the geological location of Hudson Valley. Tech Valley—which consists of the Capital Region, Adirondacks and North Country, Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley—now expands from the Canadian boarder near Montreal to just north of New York City.
To better understand the birth of Tech Valley, we must go back to its roots. The Capital Region—Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga County—has a rich and diverse economic history (agriculture, manufacturing, transportation.) Conveniently located on the Hudson River, the Capital Region thrived on industrialization leading the early adoption of the waterwheel and pioneering the steamboat. The City of Troy particularly flourished during the Industrial Revolution from the manufacturing of iron, steel, and textile mills. At one time, Troy was one of the most prosperous cities in the country.
When the iron and steel industry relocated to Pennsylvania, Troy suffered immensely and the Capital Region was in need of a new source of wealth. The City looked to its largest private employer Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the nation’s oldest technological university. It was then that the seed for scientific and technological excellence was planted within the Capital Region.
Since 1998, Tech Valley Chamber of Coalition (TVCC) has done an extraordinary job rebranding the greater Albany area. Through successful bids and campaigning, TVCC has brought multi-billion dollar corporations like GE, IBM, and most recently GlobalFoundries to the Capital Region. Tech Valley has even attracted the attention of successful innovators like Bill Gates, who graciously donated $400,000 to fund Tech Valley High School.
Once called the “armpit of America” by movie producer Denis Blouin, Tech Valley now provides cutting-edge research and invaluable breakthroughs in nanotech, biotech, and alternative energy. Tech Valley has also received various accolades from eWeek, Biotech Tech, and other periodicals for being an up-and-coming leader in the technology world.
More important, the Capital Region has been named one of Forbes’ best places to raise a family—an accomplishment within itself. Tech Valley is our home. The region has made great technological strides and we’ve been lucky enough to host President Obama…twice. Thanks to the successful rebranding campaign by TVCC and innovative public-private partnerships throughout the Tech Valley, communities from the lower Hudson Valley to Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and beyond are reemerging as thriving markets positioned for sustainable growth.