Last week, I wrote about a new organization called the Center on Rural Innovation and its efforts to create a scalable model for rural economic development.

Founder Matt Dunne believes that in order to compete with larger population centers, rural communities must find a way to work with one another to gain access to the resources they lack. Entrepreneurs might not be able to find enough angel investors in their town — but they may be able to within a 300-mile radius.

One point that I didn’t have room to highlight in the piece is that building a connected ecosystem is important not just to bring jobs back to rural communities, but to ensure that rural communities are able to withstand some of the job losses automation may bring. The “Beyond VB” section this week includes a story on the research of MIT Media Lab’s Iyad Rahwan, who found that smaller cities are more likely to feel the effects of automation, as the jobs most at risk to be eliminated by automation are typically located away from large population centers.

The quick fix, then, is to encourage workers to move to where the jobs are — as President Donald Trump encouraged upstate New Yorkers to do in a July interview with the Wall Street Journal. But building a connected cluster of smaller cities will not only allow people to stay put in their respective towns — it will also ensure that the state and federal government is maximizing the economic benefits that smaller cities and towns can offer.

Please send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to me via email — bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel, and please remember to share these #HeartlandTech stories on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

P.S. Please enjoy this video from the Kauffman Foundation, “Writing the book on entrepreneurial ecosystems

FROM THE HEARTLAND TECH CHANNEL

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Ex-Google exec Matt Dunne has a plan to create a string of tech hubs across rural America

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BEYOND VB

Welcome to the Amazon Games

A funny thing happened on the way to the e-store. Amazon launched a “search” for a second headquarters home, and upended another industry in the process. The established rules of site selection and economic development went the way of the suburban shopping mall. Forget the comfy confines of the confidential site search; Amazon decided it would pit every state and community against each other in a dramatic public competition akin to American Idol or the Amazing Race, though talent alone will get you nowhere in this contest. (via Site Selection Magazine)

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It’s Not A Coincidence That Innovative Cities Become Very Unequal

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The Case For Launching a Startup Far Away From the Tech Bubble

When I talk about my journey, I often talk about how and why being from a small, rural town played a big role in me becoming the tech entrepreneur that I am today. When I launched my first startup, Sheena Allen Apps, I was convinced that I needed to be in Silicon Valley for my company to be successful. It wasn’t until the start of my second startup, CapWay, that I truly realized the advantages of operating a company outside of a major tech hub. (via Levo League)

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Automation Will Make Megacities Grow Way Faster

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