Madison is becoming a magnet for the innovative information technology and healthcare businesses that are changing the landscape in their prospective fields. The access to world-class higher education resources, healthcare options, and cultural opportunities makes the Wisconsin city a ripe location for relocation and reinvestment. For Drew Madden and the team at Evergreen Healthcare Partners, for example, Madison is the perfect place to lay down business roots and engage a growing, diverse client base. With the addition of nonstop flights into Madison from large metropolitan areas, the influx of talent and capital should continue to rise.
The prospect of attracting talent and investment into Madison is appealing to entrepreneurs like Drew Madden, who sees himself as a curator of untapped human potential.
“I pride myself on being the dumbest person at our company,” quips Madden, adding, “I’ve always believed that if I can consistently make that claim, then I’m doing my job as a “company leader.”
Drew Madden sees the draw of Madison as a potential goldmine for local companies, as an expanding talent pool brings additional creativity into the workplace. “Many of my best ideas come from collaboration with our team or client partners. It’s exhilarating to be a part of a part of a group that’s empowered to be creative and solve problems together.”
Hello San Francisco
Among the new nonstop flights into Madison is United Airlines direct service from San Francisco. This is a coup for Madison according to Joel Patenaude of Madison Magazine. “While Madison’s reputation builds as a growing technology center, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area firmly occupy the epicenter for the nation’s tech industry and venture capital firms.
Some $30 billion or 44 percent of venture capital in the U.S. is invested in startups in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.” Patenaude adds, “That has resulted in the reluctance of venture capitalists there to consider backing startups elsewhere.”
Nonstop airline service from San Francisco to Madison shifts this paradigm. Paul Jardin who serves as the president of Madison Regional Economic Development joins Madden in seeing the economic potential of expanding nonstop airline service into Madison.
“There are companies who will basically say, ‘I am not expanding our footprint anywhere that I can’t get to directly.’ In other words, they don’t want the inconvenience of a multi-stop flight.” Jardin believes that the direct flights will enhance Madison’s allure to people on the coast.
Along with Drew Madden’s Evergreen Healthcare Partners, other healthcare innovators are lauding the potential of the San Francisco connection. Meghan Roh, who works as a spokesperson for Epic Systems Corp., a medical software company situated in Verona, is bullish about the addition of the nonstop flights.
“It not only brings increased opportunities for us to support our current and future Northern California customers, but also helps us grow an important relationship between the Bay Area and Madison’s tech community.” Indeed, it’s not just about what San Francisco can do for Madison; Madison has a lot to offer San Francisco and beyond.
Another nonstop addition that has Drew Madden and other Madisonians giddy about the futures of their companies is American and Frontier Airlines’ additions of nonstop service to Philadelphia. Joel Patenaude lauds the potential of airline service into this hub.
“In April, Frontier Airlines started every-other-day direct flights between Madison and Philadelphia. Then, on May 5, American Airlines added two daily direct flights to Philly. American uses Philadelphia as a hub to access the entire East Coast, just as San Francisco is United’s hub for flights on the West Coast and overseas.”
While big cities like San Francisco are attractive to young entrepreneurs, Millennials seem open to moving to places that provide enhanced opportunities and quality of life. A study conducted by the San Francisco Business Times in July 2016 noted that 90 percent of Silicon Valley tech workers planned to leave their jobs at some point soon. The study noted, “The high cost of living in the Bay Area “may heighten the appeal of cities like Seattle, Portland, Austin or Madison, Wisconsin, all of which rank in the top 10 best-paying cities for software engineers.”
This makes sense to entrepreneurs like Drew Madden who recognizes that Madison offers both high wages and a relatively low cost of living. Glassdoor affirms Madden’s assertion, noting that $97,236 was “the average annual salary of a software engineer in Madison in 2016, the fourth highest among the best paying U.S. cities — and the highest ranked city with a cost of living below the national average.”
It’s a good time to invest in Madison and make Madison home, as Drew Madden and other highly-successful entrepreneurs have noted after planting roots in Madison. The addition of new nonstop airline service into the Wisconsin gem will only enhance Madison’s allure for a new wave of talent and investment.