When software entrepreneur Jeff Fedor and his business partner, Terry Goertz, went in search of the perfect place to grow their young business, they knew they wanted a community that offered investors, software developers, digital marketing expertise and something else – something hard to define, but easy to find in Louisville.
“We looked at the general climate of the community and were impressed with the way people pay attention to arts and design, to creativity,” says Fedor, who moved from Ontario to Louisville, now headquarters to his and Goertz’s ParkVu Inc. software company. “We got caught up in the way this area was changing, that so many things were happening. It was the kind of area we wanted to be involved in. And it has been just great for us.”
Once in Louisville, in October 2011 ParkVu launched its first major success, Music WithMe, a smart phone app that allows Android users to wirelessly download their iTunes playlists to their device. The product is now in 100 countries, and the company recently launched its second innovative product, Monstro, a music/social media interactive program.
Family-Friendly Place to Live
If the professional climate is nurturing, Fedor has also found Louisville a boon for his family, with plenty to do for his two children, from art lessons to the city’s numerous parks.
The city’s family-friendliness is also high on the list of what biomedical innovator Cedric Francois loves about Louisville, where he earned his doctorate and has lived for 12 years. His 9- and 11-year-old children are students at Sacred Heart Model School, which he describes as “fantastic,” and enjoy the city’s museums, the zoo, boat-watching on the river and visiting Churchill Downs.
Plenty to do After Work
“I love all the wide-open spaces, horses, the river, great nightlife,” says Francois, chief executive of Apellis Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a promising drug to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma. “You have a lot of things happening here. A lot of out-of-the-box things go on in this community that you might never expect to find here.”
For Francois, Louisville offers the chance for precious work/life balance with its blend of diversity and calm.
“If there’s too much distraction, it’s hard to make up your mind about anything,” he says. “Louisville is very diverse, but here you have the quietness to actually focus on things you’d like to implement.”
For stage director Les Waters, who moved from Berkeley, Calif., to assume the reins of the famed Actors Theatre of Louisville in early 2012, the city’s friendliness and its atmosphere of cooperative creativity are attractive.
“There are lots of connections to be made in town between individuals and organizations. I welcome getting into that, finding out how we can partner and support one another,” he says.
“The music, which I love, is wonderful here, the city has a strong visual arts scene, the food is terrific. It feels like a town that wants to talk to me. There’s something about Louisville that feels like home.”
Learn more about businesses in Louisville.