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

Featured Video

P.S. Check out this video from VentureBeat, “Alternative workforce models emerging to address 21st century needs.”

Alternative workforce models emerging to address 21st century needs

From the Heartland Tech channel

Chicago’s strongest startup sector is online marketplaces like Groupon and OpenTable

GUEST: As an investment leader in Chicago, I get asked about startup trends on a regular basis. Most often the question I’m asked is, “What is the strongest startup sector in Chicago?” It’s a hard question because one of Chicago’s core advantages nationally is that we are consistently strong everywhere (except when it comes to finding […]

Read the full story 

What Koch Disruptive Technologies is looking for in its investments

Jason Illian is managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), a newly launched subsidiary of 70-year-old conglomerate Koch Industries. And Illian is aware that the general public doesn’t typically associate the name “Koch” with startup investing. Instead, people tend to remember investments in conservative causes and candidates by Koch Industries’ majority owners, billionaire brothers David […]

Read the full story 

SoftBank’s Michael Ronen isn’t worried about automation displacing workers

SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund has naturally attracted curiosity due to its mammoth size. Managing partner Michael Ronen told the crowd at VentureBeat’s Blueprint conference in Reno, Nevada that the lowest round the fund will invest in is $100 million. In 2017, SoftBank invested in 16 companies in the U.S. But what’s equally as intriguing about […]

Read the full story 

Next Frontier Capital raises $38 million fund to deploy more capital to Montana startups

Next Frontier Capital announced today that it has raised a $38 million fund to deploy more capital to Montana startups. The fund is the Bozeman, Montana-based firm’s second. Founder and general partner Will Price made the announcement today at VentureBeat’s Blueprint conference. “We feel like with the launch of the second fund, we’re riding a […]

Read the full story 

Beyond VB

Silicon Valley VCs will not be riding to the rescue of the Midwest’s startups anytime soon 

Alex Kubicek needed $1 million. His company, Understory, designed sensors to prevent unnecessary repairs after severe hailstorms, something common in the US midwest. The technology stood to save insurance companies billions of dollars. Kubicek journeyed from Madison, Wisconsin, to Sand Hill Road, home of Silicon Valley’s investor class, to pitch his idea. None of the 30 venture capitalists (VC) were interested. “When we talked to people in the Bay Area, VCs would ask, ‘What does hail actually do?” he said in an interview. “If you’re not from the midwest, where severe storms are a big deal, it’s hard to imagine. There’s a narrow mindset in the Valley.” (via Quartz)

Read the full story 

Chicago startup CloudCraze to be acquired by Salesforce 

CloudCraze, an enterprise commerce platform founded in 2009, announced Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by the CRM giant. CloudCraze raised more than $30 million in venture funding to date. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. (via Chicago Inno)

Read the full story

Future of Silicon Valley

As tech in the Bay Area continues to grow, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities feel its impact — and are drawn into its orbit. Those changes spark fresh questions: Is Silicon Valley a place? A label for an industry? Or just a group of people linked by time, geography and common purpose? (via San Francisco Chronicle)

Read the full story 

Startup stakeholders: Opportunity zones could prompt culture shift on redevelopment

Startup community stakeholders think opportunity zones in some of Kansas City’s poorest areas could work, but only with collaboration between the government and private sector. (via Startland News)

Read the full story 

Source: https://venturebeat.com/

Next page
all newsPrevious page

Newsletter subscription

Be aware of the news of the Investment Venture Fund of RT