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Jacksonville's Startup Economy: Why I Stayed - Carl Smith, nGen Works


Carl Smith grew up in Jacksonville, and the community of innovators and entrepreneurs he helped start is one of the reasons he is still here.As part of our Startup Economy Series we've asked those involved in Jacksonville's innovation economy why they have stayed in the city. Today we'll hear from nGen Works founder and owner Carl Smith.

"Believe it or not, I was born in Jacksonville and have lived here my entire life."

"Having grown up here, it always seemed like other cities had more to offer. What they didn’t was have the people I came to know and love."

"In 2003 I started nGen Works, a web development company. We prospered with predominantly local clients through 2008 when we made a major shift. We went from being a located to a distributed company. Today, less than 20 percent of nGen’s employees, and less than 10 percent of our clients, are located in Jacksonville. But I'm still here."

"Recently I contemplated moving again, but this time I realized I didn’t want to. The city has a new swagger. A youth culture that is determined to make Jax the city they want it to be. It comes down to this: do you want to be part of a great city where everything has been decided or one where you get to help make the decisions."

"Staying has been the best decision I’ve made. Mentoring at KYN, helping coordinate the One Spark Speaker Series and getting active in new meet ups has me more in love with my city than ever before."

Carl Smith is owner, founder and "Chief Keeper Upper" of web design and marketing firm nGen Works.

You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter @patrickhdonges.

Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.