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GE Comes to Boston – What This Means for Technology, PR and the City

Zander Wharton

Zander Wharton

Boston residents would have to be living under a rock to have missed the recent news that GE announced they will be relocating their headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Beantown. After being in the suburbs for more than thirty years, the corporate giant decided it was time for a change of scenery, trading in a sprawling, campus-style headquarters for a more compact, urban office.

In an official statement about the move, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said, “We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations.” Translated: GE wants to be in a high-tech hub with easy access to talent and innovation.

With a high profile Fortune 10 company coming to the city, this means big changes for Boston’s tech and PR sector, but also the region as a whole.

Confirms Boston is a “Tech Hub”

When most people think of the “tech hub” of America, their minds usually go to the start-up filled Silicon Valley. But Boston is hot on the Valley’s heels as host to such thriving tech companies as iRobot and LogMeIn. The city has even branded part of its Seaport as the “Innovation District.” This will also be the location where GE seeks to put their new HQ.

Recently GE has begun to sell most of its finance business in order to bring the focus back to its industrial roots, including power and clean energy, aviation and health sciences. But the company also has launched a digital division that it hopes will take it into the top ranks of the software industry.

It also helps that Boston is home to leading universities, with many fresh-minded young people interested in the field of technology already based locally. They have the potential to fill some of the nearly 800 jobs that GE will bring in their move.

Opens Up Floodgates for PR business

GE’s move will likely have a ripple effect throughout the tech world. Companies specializing in the newest technologies, like the Internet of Things or even virtual reality, will see Boston as the next Silicon Valley. Many are likely to create new offices here in order to establish a presence within the tech hub.

This means business! Public relations agencies specializing in tech clients, much like Walker Sands, will garner new business opportunities from the influx of companies coming to the area. It is even possible that tech agencies in other parts of the country will open up offices here in order to reap the benefits – continuing a trend that’s been ongoing in nearby Kendall Square for the past decade.

Another Win for Beantown

Boston is used to winning – at least when it comes to sports, that is. The GE move is yet another victory – a win for the local economy, for philanthropy and of course for the bragging rights. Way to go, Boston!