Strategic Vision

Entrepreneurs are world changers; Technologists are world creators. 

Together they are foundations of economic growth. Any city’s 21st century future will depend on its ability to attract and retain these doers, thinkers and innovators — and to expand their ranks. Exactly because of the outsized importance of inclusive economic growth and technological change, there is urgency to create more equitable systems and accessible pathways to these professions. 

The data are clear: All net new jobs in the American economy come from new businesses, according to influential research, and each tech worker supports 4.4 additional local jobs. Innovation economies are necessary for communities to thrive in the future around the world.

Despite today’s global scale, entrepreneurship and innovation remain distinctly local phenomena. Our cities are where global ideas begin. Before the world is changed, invention takes place in garages, at meetups between neighbors and on whiteboards and lab benches. These local breeding grounds require dependable and open news and information resources to make them more efficient and accessible — spurring new ideas and innovation. 

Into this ecosystem comes, a news organization that connects a community of technologists, entrepreneurs and other professionals invested in their hometowns. Dynamic local growth, inclusive innovation, skills of the future and digital equity are central to our specialized reporting. We contribute to more innovative, competitive and accessible local economies. envisions a world in which entrepreneurship and innovation can come from anyone anywhere — to ensure all communities thrive. following the stories where they lead

Since its founding in 2009, has brought journalistic rigor to issues that are routinely filled with hype and hyperbole. We chase and challenge national trends by telling the stories of technology and innovation and the pursuit of equitable economic growth in five local communities and counting, growing a single online community of change-makers. Our work is for established entrepreneurs and technologists; those aspiring to join their ranks and the people supporting their work. is one of the country’s longest-running online-only local news organizations, and our impact is clear:

  • is used as a resource by entrepreneurs and professionals to decide where to live and work. More than 1 in 10 of readers of our city-specific newsletters live in different geographies and use our reporting to inform decisions about living and working in other locations. Experienced technologists and entrepreneurs rely on us to remain connected to hometowns they are invested in.
  • By serving as a job opportunities hub, provides opportunities for thousands of tech workers and other professionals to research and apply for life-changing career opportunities. Those aspiring to be entrepreneurs or tech professionals rely on us to help guide them into these careers. This is made more notable because nearly 1 in 3 of our readers are people of color and roughly half identify as women. We bring our roster of top-flight, remote-hiring clients to each new city we join.
  • Our reporting has influenced local policy on issues ranging from workforce diversity, business climate and government transparency. For just a few examples: 
    •’s Pittsburgh mayoral candidate survey established tech and economic policy priorities for the city’s most recent campaign, including the current mayor.
    • reporting was used to shape Wilmington, Del. economic development strategies to support Black and brown entrepreneurs, including the specific 2021 implementation of a new micro-grant program.
    •’s reporting informed the City of Philadelphia’s landmark Open Data Executive Order that set that city’s government transparency policies. 
    • convened the first-ever Baltimore City Council hearing on tech policy, informing a slate of policy initiatives on competitiveness and innovation.



These trends ensure the importance of accessible news gathering, cross-city evaluation and open online communities. 

The lessons we learned

Our big discovery? Quality local journalism is an effective strategy for growing a community of hard-to-reach professionals (many generally underrepresented in technology companies). We focus on equipping them to be more productive, better connected with peers and more invested in the communities where they live. For nearly 1 in 3 of our readers, is the only local news organization they read regularly. 

As a part of our journalism and community engagement strategy, develops career-long, meaningful relationships with the hardest-to-reach passive job seekers and business builders. This allows us to make tech careers more accessible, share greater insight into company hiring and business strategies and retain these news consumers over the long term. Our communities and relationships, then, are our most important asset as a news organization. We grow that community by engaging both established veterans and those aspiring to join these highly productive economic and innovation circles. 

This flywheel is positively self-reinforcing. We start first by informing our community of technologists and entrepreneurs, whom our clients and advertisers want to meet to hire and engage. Our philanthropic partners invest in us both to ensure our work remains free and accessible for aspiring technologists and entrepreneurs and to deepen our coverage of local economic change, which strengthens our community for all. our local news and information is more necessary than ever’s growth has coincided with an accelerating collapse of local news. That has deeply informed our approach to sustainability. addresses obstacles to local economic growth by making information and connections intentional and accessible. Our journalism is a critical component of a business model that also includes fee-based business research and analysis on technology, economic growth and entrepreneurship and story-based advertising products that help jobseekers research hiring companies and entrepreneurs learn about business services. We work with philanthropy to deepen our impact, while retaining a sustainable model.

This revenue model that mixes business solutions and philanthropic support results in a powerful outcome for our communities: our news gathering and information sharing remains free and accessible — unusual for business publications that typically reinforce existing inequalities. The connections we make reflect the diverse cities we serve. 

As a new generation of local public affairs newsrooms develop, the multi-local model will allow us to contribute specialized reporting and expertise that will benefit the industries, technology and entrepreneurship ecosystems and the people who power them.

Our approach to local journalism is informed by and in response to the reality of web-powered global scale: Our single distributed newsroom holds deep subject matter expertise that results in reporting on many key issues across multiple locations. This creates a strong network effect; With each new market we report on, we grow our expertise and online community, including community members across the globe, with diminishing additional expense, which is a sustainable and generative model for growth. Local news ecosystems gain expertise, and allows entrepreneurs and technologists to tap into a growing community of like-minded professionals. 

Why is all this important? We believe issues of equitable economic growth, digital transformation, civic technology and inclusive innovation must be understood as key to the future of cities. We believe innovation can come from anyone anywhere, and journalism can play an integral role in spurring more inclusive and accessible communities.

At this critical moment in our organization’s history, has outlined a pathway that builds on our strong foundation to expand our journalism and our global community of entrepreneurs and technologists who are invested in their hometowns. the world we’re operating in

For decades, business creation has been on the decline in the United States. Many slow-growth cities struggle to reimagine future economic growth. Rates of women and Black and brown people in entrepreneurship and tech jobs had remained stubbornly low. Economists have worried about fading productivity gains, and policymakers have scrambled to establish innovation ecosystems in response to unfilled jobs —even as immigration and domestic migration rates have sagged.

Then a global pandemic upended many of these trends, adding uncertainty and indecision. Meanwhile, the rise of remote work and distributed companies risks further decoupling the most economically privileged among us from their neighbors. If surging tech economies exist only online, then who will ensure those gains benefit those who might be left behind?

These worldwide trends are playing out locally. Yet long-standing legacy news organizations and inventive journalism nonprofits typically lack the resources and expertise to track, chart and challenge these powerful trends that have a significant impact on local economies.’s goal is to continue to change the world—and the regions where we work:

  1. We help local economies become more inclusive, dynamic and competitive.
    • For example, the founder and CEO of a tech unicorn (a privately-held company worth at least a $1 billion) relies on to remain connected and informed about his hometown tech market. 
    • Backed by Data: 65% of readers have 10+ years of professional experience and 83% of returning readers rely on to stay informed about their hometowns.
    • Our Core Value: We are Connective. We connect technologists and entrepreneurs to each other and the ecosystems where they live.
  2. We help experienced entrepreneurs and technologists connect where they live.
    • For example, one native of an historically disinvested urban community of color found his first tech apprenticeship and successive career opportunities through Today he is a Senior Software Automation Engineer at a 200-person tech company.
    • Backed by Data: 1 in 3 readers is a person of color; 1 in 10 readers have used to begin or transition their career into tech; 1 in 3 readers have researched a job or business opportunity with
    • Our Core Value: We are Welcoming. We engage those who are new to tech economies, and introduce them to established centers of power.
  3. We help aspiring entrepreneurs and technologists reach their full potential.
    • For example, one native of an historically disinvested urban community of color found his first tech apprenticeship and successive career opportunities through Today he is a Senior Software Automation Engineer at a 200-person tech company.
    • Backed by Data: 1 in 3 readers is a person of color; 1 in 10 readers have used to begin or transition their career into tech; 1 in 3 readers have researched a job or business opportunity with
      Our Core Value: We are Welcoming. We engage those who are new to tech economies, and introduce them to established centers of power.

A world in which publishes in cities around the globe is a world in which innovative local economies are more inclusive, accessible and effective. growing our impact and reach

Today, is one of the world’s leading chroniclers of local economic transformation and one of the country’s most vibrant communities of entrepreneurs and technologists. 

The pandemic’s spark set in motion this strategic visioning process which began in fall 2020, as a pandemic surged and a view of the future slowly emerged. Across dozens of interviews and input from former and current employees, business clients, readers and other stakeholders, we have set forward this five-year plan to guide us through December 2025. 

In that time, will transform from a regional news site into a global community of technologists, entrepreneurs and other professionals invested in their hometowns, and powered by an industry-leading digital media company. 

Our strategy to accomplish this is as follows:

  1. Prioritize Community: Establish the world’s most vibrant online community of technologists and entrepreneurs who are invested in their hometowns.
    • Build a newsroom culture that encourages community feedback on our reporting, newsletters, events and other tools — and spurs our community to do something with it.
    • Grow the Slack as a central hub for our online community.
    • Build long term relationships with readers, clients and partners, prioritizing genuine quality connections while articulating how value is created for their business, for their work and in the cities where they live and work.
    • Develop and accomplish this strategic vision in collaboration with our community.
    • The next step is to build community listening into every strategy and every teammate’s roles, from the reporter who answers community questions to the business services manager who solves community problems.
  2. Invest in Impact: Improve our effectiveness in making connections within our community for economic growth and career advancement — leading to more equitable outcomes.
    • Produce journalism, business products and services that improve the speed and direction of the careers of members of our community.
    • Establish solutions for businesses that leverage actionable insights about and relationships with our community, along with a suite of products and services, to repeatedly and efficiently drive connections and value.
    • Develop and track measurable results ensuring year over year improvements.
    • The next step is building on a foundation of a powerful database and establishing a best-in-class business client services team and operation.
  3. Advance Sustainability: Refine our business model for connecting our community to employers and services through operational excellence and superior client services.
    • Establish a high-performing revenue team that builds effective systems to connect clients with our community, along with our storytelling services and newsroom skill, to capture the value we create.
    • Develop an exceptional business services team that routinely exceeds client expectations with the help of repeatable processes and creative custom solutions.
    • Build repeatable systems for excellent operations, client and staff experience — including both day-to-day functions and long term impact like our environmental footprint.
    • The next step is to annualize client relationships with repeatable systems and develop individual quarterly goals for each teammate across the organization to ensure we work together.
  4. Accelerate Our Innovation: Shape the future of media and online communities by adapting and influencing creator trends.
    • Experiment with storytelling formats, like podcast series and short-form video, virtual and in-person events, illustrations and article types, that inform and engage our community.
    • Learn from and listen to our community of innovators to implement cross-disciplinary best practices on community growth strategies, like digital marketing, online engagement.
    • Solicit philanthropic support and investment in innovative and effective storytelling, community engagement and other journalism that the private market doesn’t support on its own.
    • The next step is to ensure staff are routinely engaging with experts in other industries and incorporating those best practices in our organization.
  5. Lead with Team Culture: Prioritize the continuation of a vibrant, diverse and engaged distributed team, which is effective and reports satisfaction with the work environment, driving results and celebrating our alumni network.
    • Grow a community of Company Culture Builders that can serve both as a way to engage prospective clients and to ensure we are following and informing best practices.
    • Implement and shape the best practices for team building and engagement that we routinely report on to that community.
      Establish methods for routine staff engagement and feedback, like team one-on-ones, performance reviews and all-team surveys and gatherings, ensuring our team remains diverse, engaged and invested.
    • The next step is to invest in operationalizing many of our existing traditions and best practices.

How will we know we’ve reached our goals?

In addition to more detailed internal metrics, we set these goals for each of our five priorities:


How to be a part of our work

This work is ambitious. We can’t do it alone. As a community company, both serves and relies on our community. Our work will make economies more inclusive, effective and accessible. This has real world impacts on the careers of the marginalized and those traditionally underrepresented to ensure more equitable growth. Invest in us and the stories we tell for the accountability and solutions we bring to communities you care about. To tell us your story, contact our newsroom here. To work with us, review our services here. Or just know you are part of our future. Thank you.


Christopher Wink

Cofounder and CEO at