PA's College Towns Capitalize On The Knowledge Economy
Walk around Videon's headquarters, and it's easy to forget that you're in a short, squat building in the back of an office park. Dogs run around the open workspace, filled with standing desks, funky stone tables and huge computer monitors.
They're an audiovisual technology company, so it make sense that they would want to show off their equipment.
"We've got a really nice little theater area here, which is a fun place to show off the high tech stuff that we do," says marketing director Rebecca Lundin. "And also, bring our kids in and have birthday parties."
The leather recliners and huge movie screen aren't even the coolest part of the office. Try a game room, with foosball, pinball and a kegerator.
Videon's offices, and technology, scream Silicon Valley. But their zip code says State College, a university town far from highway intersections, railroads or even a river.
"Older cities, they would locate on the river, and the river would power the paddle wheel, and the paddle wheel would make the electricty, and off went the factories," says Videon CEO Todd Erdley.
It's 2015. His company doesn't need a paddle wheel or a factory.
"Our river is talent. Our river is intellectual capital coming from Penn State," said Erdley.