Seizing NH’s tech opportunity

The industry and policymakers can decide how far the state can go
Julie Demers
Support for the NH Tech Alliance’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative ‘gets us one step closer to the organization’s sustainable and transformational strategy and vision,’ says Executive Direcetor Julie Demers.

New Hampshire’s tech scene has serious potential, but how much of that potential can we realize? That’s up to tech workers, business owners and strategic decision-makers.

We’re in a period of massive transformation in the tech world. Tech giants such as Twitter, Meta, Google and Apple are facing dysfunction and public scrutiny. More people are realizing that they can build a successful tech career or business without tethering themselves to Silicon Valley or Austin or Cambridge.

It’s easy to see how our state — which is home to a tech ecosystem that, in 2021, contributed $10.8 billion to the New Hampshire economy — is a great fit for remote workers.

New Hampshire also boasts a combination of opportunity, access and connectivity. In our small but mighty state, you’re likely never more than a degree of separation away from a key decision- or policymaker. There’s plenty of game-changing innovation already underway, but we can always keep growing our tech culture.

And when tech thrives, the rest of the state does too.

Let me drop a few stats on you, courtesy of CompTIA’s State of the Tech Workforce Report:

  • The tech sector makes up 12.5 percent of the overall economy in New Hampshire.
  • New Hampshire ranks fifth nationally in technology’s economic impact as a percentage of the state’s overall economy, trailing only Washington, California, Massachusetts and Colorado.
  • New Hampshire ranks sixth nationally for concentration (7.8 percent) of tech workers relative to its overall employment base.

So, in 10 years, imagine that a national audience views New Hampshire in the same tech-centric conversation as Washington, California, Massachusetts and Colorado. How would we have achieved this recognition? What will have fueled the growth?
Here’s our recipe:

• Access: Sure, with 1.4 million residents, we don’t have the sheer volume of tech influencers that bigger markets can claim, but New Hampshire’s small size can work to its advantage.

In New Hampshire, your next prospect, client, business partner or employer could easily be a friend of a friend — or better put, one degree of connection on LinkedIn away. Reaching a high-profile investor or CEO or state legislator feels more attainable here than in other busy tech hives.

Send an email, grab a coffee with a colleague or attend a conference. Your next great idea might not be far away.

• Policy: New Hampshire’s unparalleled access lends itself to productive, mutually beneficial relationships between the private and public sectors. Public officials need to continue to push policy that supports innovation and brings more tech companies to our state.
I always like to retell the story of a colleague of mine, a CEO of a New Hampshire company. He was meeting with out-of-state investors, who asked about certain business regulations in NH. “Let me text the governor,” my colleague said nonchalantly.
Imagine doing that in California! That’s the New Hampshire difference at work.

• Collaboration: Whether it’s hackathons, conferences or mentoring, good things happen when we get in a room together. To reach its potential, the New Hampshire tech community has no choice but to work together. We don’t need giant companies like Uber and Google, but small and medium-sized businesses must band together to share resources and knowledge. Each person and entity can benefit from creating a more robust, active and engaging culture.

And who’s to say that collaboration has to stop at the border? The distance from New Hampshire to Boston/Cambridge isn’t much different from one end of Silicon Valley to the other. We can make the New England Tech Corridor stronger together.

I’ll leave you with the thoughts of a brilliant colleague, C.A. Webb, who spoke at the NH Tech Alliance’s Innovation Summit. Webb is synonymous with all things tech, life science and investing in New England.

To close her remarks, Webb offered up three questions to anyone looking to grow the New Hampshire tech ecosystem:
1. What do you want the New Hampshire tech ecosystem to be known for in 10 years?
2. Who are three individuals/organizations that embody this vision?
3. What are you, personally, going to contribute to making it happen?

Innovation doesn’t happen in solitude. Especially in a remote world, you need a water cooler, whiteboard and home base for all the amazing tech innovation that’s going to take place in our state.

New Hampshire’s tech scene is already impressive. It’ll only keep growing with contributions from people like you.

Julie Demers is executive director of the NH Tech Alliance. For more information, visit

Categories: Tech Advice