Heartland Tech Weekly: Midwest tech hubs can’t thrive on curiosity alone

Heartland Tech Weekly: Midwest tech hubs can’t thrive on curiosity alone

I’m out of the office this week, but there are still a number of conversations that I had at VentureBeat’s Blueprint conference that are on my mind.

Last week, I wrote that the benefits to being outside the Bay Area are growing — many executives I’ve spoken with say that it’s employees who have expressed the most curiosity in ditching SIlicon Valley. This week, I’d like to talk about the challenges that Heartland communities still face.

Simply put, the momentum Heartland communities are experiencing isn’t enough to close both the funding gap and the job gap between Silicon Valley and the Heartland. As a Quartz piece from earlier this week noted, of the 4,726 venture deals that took place in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin between 2012 and 2018, only 519 involved an investor from Silicon Valley.

It’s exciting that some Silicon Valley investors are expressing interest in investing more in the Midwest, as Rep. Tim Ryan’s tour of Midwestern “Comeback Cities” showed. But this data shows that it’s still regional investors that are closing the most deals — and any efforts to increase funding in the region have to heavily involve them.

Additionally, as the Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro pointed out during a panel discussion I moderated, it’s traditional tech hubs like San Jose, Seattle, and Austin that continue to see the highest increases in their share of highly digital, and highly paid, jobs. While more employees may be expressing more interest in moving away from Silicon Valley back to their hometowns, how do we get tech companies to put these jobs in these workers’ hometowns in the first place?

As always, please send me your thoughts via email.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/

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