This week, I wrote three different stories that touched on different ways to measure tech progress outside of Silicon Valley: how to talk about startup hubs without referring to them as “the next Silicon Valley,” overlooked cities becoming tech centers, and Heartland tech startups to watch.
As I mentioned, the biggest challenge in tracking the progress of startups outside of the coasts is that so much venture capital money (around 40 percent of all U.S. venture capital) is invested into Silicon Valley each year. That makes it difficult for other cities — which may be seeing a 100 percent increase or greater in the money their startups raise year-over-year — to make a dent in Silicon Valley’s share of funding.
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So, what are some other ways that cities can track the progress that’s being made in their tech community? A number of national economic development organizations have some ideas.
The Kauffman Foundation launched a Growth Entrepreneurship Index in 2015, which takes into account the density of startups in a city or state, how quickly those ventures are growing, and how many of those businesses last longer than five years. The Milken Institute publishes an annual list of “best-performing cities” that uses job creation, wage gains, and technology development as measurements of how quickly a metropolitan area is growing.
How do you think cities should track their tech economy’s progress? As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email. You can subscribe to Heartland Tech Weekly here to get this newsletter in your inbox every week.
Thanks for reading,
Heartland Tech Reporter
Please enjoy this video from Bloomberg, “Microsoft’s Smith sees tech disrupting global jobs.”
From the Heartland Tech Channel
ANALYSIS: Earlier this week, I wrote that the two questions I get most frequently from people who are interested in learning about Heartland Tech are about what cities they should be watching and what startups should be on their radar. I wrote about cities to watch here, and now I’d like to talk about startups to […]
OPINION: I’ve written previously about finding ways to have better conversations about Heartland startups in 2018. Now I’d like to make one of my own goals public in the hopes that others will join me: Let’s stop thinking of tech ecosystems as trying to be “the next Silicon Valley.” Comparing Kansas City or Omaha to Silicon […]
GUEST: Building a startup in Silicon Valley has its advantages: close proximity to investors, availability of talent, and an appetite for — and history of — innovation. However, not every successful startup begins in Silicon Valley. It can be expensive to sustain company growth there, or the startup might solve a pain point that exists outside […]
ANALYSIS: The two questions I get asked most frequently when I tell people that I report on tech startups across Middle America are: Which startups outside of Silicon Valley are getting the most traction? And which cities are home to the most interesting tech activity? I find that it’s typically easier to answer the first question. […]
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