Why CLE is one of the best places to start your web company

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The Co-founder of an online ordering company for restaurant chains explains why CLE is the place to be for start-up companies

By Guest Blogger Alex Yakubovich, Co-Founder, Partner, ONOSYS

Alex Yakubovich

Alex Yakubovich

Here’s how I know that Cleveland is one of the best places to start a web-based company: Two friends and I started ONOSYS, an online ordering company for restaurant chains, as Case freshmen in 2005. We raised funding in 2007, grew our company to thousands of customers and had a successful exit to LivingSocial in 2012.

We didn’t realize how much the CLE tailwind was driving us forward when we started. Here are the big advantages we realized along the way;

1. Access. We have a surprising number of Fortune 1000 companies headquartered here. If you ask nicely, many great folks are willing to meet with you and even help you out. Why? Because everyone is rooting for you to make it here.

2. Savings. Your job as a tech startup is to gain traction as quickly as possible before you run out of cash. Lucky us! Cleveland is one of the lowest cost cities for everything from rent to salaries. Since ONOSYS is a web company, our clients don’t really care where we are located. And since we are in Cleveland, we are able to deliver the same services as our competitors on the coasts, but for a much lower price.

3. No Traffic. Try booking a couple of cross-town meetings in NYC, SF or LA. I’ve done it and now I cherish how quickly I can get places and back to work without burning my whole day.

4. Talent. Everyone complains that it’s hard to find great people here. It is. You know where else that’s true? Everywhere.. I pity Silicon Valley in many ways. In CLE employees are more likely to stay for longer than a cup of coffee before considering their next move. In my experience, the great folks here appreciate their jobs more and subsequently work harder.

5. Weather. I’m sure I’ll get yelled at for saying this because we love to complain about it, but let’s face it, CLE weather is very productive.

6. Infrastructure. CLE used to be one of America’s largest cities and as a result we have amazing banks, attorney’s offices, accounting offices, hospitals, sports teams and many organizations that you’d be surprised call CLE home without many of the drawbacks of being a huge city. Once you start needing some of these things, you’ll really appreciate how handy it is that they’re close.  And, of course, our gigabit digital infrastructure is a must-have, and we have it here in Cleveland with OneCommunity! If your company’s business depends on next-generation broadband there aren’t many other U.S. cities that can offer you that.  Many more benefits could go on this list.

Other companies such as Rosetta, Decision Desk, Hyland Software, BrandMuscle, Findaway World and many others have successfully grown their companies here and reaped the rewards.  Will your startup be next?

About Alex Yakubovich
Alex Yakubovich is one of three founders of ONOSYS, an online and mobile ordering backbone for more restaurant chains than any other online ordering company in the space. The company is a leader in the development of customer-specific applications, eye-catching designs, leading-edge technology and the delivery of unparalleled customer service. It is based in the Warehouse District in Downtown Cleveland.

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