Charlotte has long been known as a bank town, and it still lives up to that reputation with it being the second largest banking center in the United States. But with the Queen City’s strong talent, robust infrastructure and unmatched quality of life, it has also become a major tech hub, even coming fifth in the CompTIA 2020 Tech Town Index.
Aside from the usual financial technology businesses in the bank-heavy city, a new kind of tech scene has been growing and thriving in the form of the healthcare businesses. With several new healthcare businesses popping up in the city, Charlotte is also fast becoming a leading healthcare tech hub.
Access and mobility
Healthcare is a big business, with the World Health Organization reporting that it makes up more than 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in most developed countries. In fact, the United States has spent 18% of its GDP on healthcare this year. The healthcare industry is continuously growing, and entrepreneurs who are aiming to penetrate larger markets are trying to take advantage of this specific growth.
And since it’s part of a global economy, access and mobility is a must for entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector. Luckily for Charlotte, it has the Charlotte Douglas Airport, which has been ranked the seventh busiest in the world for departures and landings in 2019, according to the Airports Council International.
In addition to the busy airport, many healthcare tech companies have chosen to start a business or expand to Charlotte because of the proximity to their actual clients. The East Coast has a higher number of hospital centers, treatment centers and overall patient population. Being in Charlotte means being accessible to a lot of the population in a very short travel distance. So, it’s no surprise that companies like UNYQ, a medical device-startup, see Charlotte as a great location for expansion due to its proximity to an international airport, universities and consumers.
Excellent support for businesses
But aside from access and mobility, Charlotte also offers excellent support for businesses. Starting a business in North Carolina is a straightforward process, and the state government makes all resources and requirements obvious and easily accessible. If you’re forming an LLC in North Carolina, you will also find that the state has a very pro-business climate, with low taxes, low business costs, and a favorable legal and regulatory environment. In fact, North Carolina has the lowest corporate income tax rate in the country at 2.5%. All these factors have undoubtedly played a part in drawing more healthcare tech companies to the state.
But the biggest factor that we see behind the upward trend in healthcare tech businesses in Charlotte is the support from big healthcare providers inside and outside the state. These providers’ big investments and partnerships with smaller startup companies, have driven local innovation forward and created thousands of additional jobs for Charlotte.
Atrium Health, one of the biggest healthcare providers in Charlotte, has been investing in different fields of technology for years, as they see technology as one of the main ways to improve patient care. But aside from investments to improve health technology, Atrium Health has also announced combining their organization with Wake Forest Baptist Health and building a medical school in Charlotte. This is great news for the city, as it is the fourth largest city in the United States that lacks a medical school.
In addition, in June of this year, Fortune 500 company and healthcare giant, Centene, announced it was investing $1 billion in Charlotte. This investment includes a 1-million-square foot, six-building facility in a single business park, and is expected to create at least 3,000 jobs.
All this shows that Charlotte is well on its way to becoming a healthcare tech hub. To learn more about the healthcare businesses in Charlotte, check out our ‘Health and Wellness’ section.