CLEVELAND – Case Western Reserve University Sophomore Connor McMurry is still two years after graduation, but already, he knows he probably will not have to go too far to find a job in technology.
"There's still a complete set, but they're creating that environment for growth and potential in the future," said McMurry, talking about Cleveland's future as a technology hub.
"Cleveland is starting to become what I could call the new wave," said McMurry.
The Blockland Conference begins on December 1 and is trying to capitalize on that wave, bringing together some of the biggest names in Blockchain technology under one roof in downtown Cleveland.
Blockchain should be a safer way to track data by storing information on so many servers simultaneously that it is almost impossible to hack. It is used to perform cryptocurrencies, but has also been used in a limited way in health systems, monitoring patient information safely and efficiently.
Computer drives like these "mine" cryptocurrencies, which find new currency to use and create a return for "miners".
Experts say that blockchain can be used in a myriad of industries to solve all kinds of problems.
"We create the environment so that when people think about Blockchain applications, they think of Cleveland," said Cuyahoga Community College VP of Workforce Innovation and Dean of IT Dr. Monique Umphrey.
"It's easy to see a production plant go up and see the chimneys," said Dr. Umphrey. "But it's harder to understand that the warehouse that has just been renovated is quiet, but some tech entrepreneurs have a startup in that building."
He says it means expanding the technology companies and the existing workforce of the region.
The Case Western Reserve University Office of Provost's chief of staff Lisa Camp states that Cleveland also has an emerging work force that is already thinking about how blockchain can improve the city.
"We have a large base of student talent in university systems, high school and community colleges," said Camp.
"We do not need to know how our cell phones work to use them," Camp said, referring to the learning curve that ordinary people have to go through to understand how Blockchain works.
"This will develop a pool of developers who are coming out of high school and college ready to plan and ready to create blockchain solutions," said Steven Santamaria, who helped plan the Blockland Conference.
He says that compared to communities that have already become technological centers on the west coast, the cost of living around Cleveland is drastically lower. This means that companies can find space and employees for much less in the Midwest and still have access to high-speed fiber networks for the bandwidth that companies need.
"[Blockchain is] It will be a platform of the future and there is space on any kind of platform for people to build successful companies, "said Santamaria.
This makes it easier for companies to grow the economy in Cleveland and easier for the Ohio Indians like Connor to stay close to home.
Blockland Cleveland runs from 1 to 4 December at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland with a donation in kind from Cuyahoga County.
"Call him a baseball field, it's a baseball field, a stadium, a backyard, no matter what it is," McMurry said. "It's where you play ball, we're here to play ball on digital innovation."