As I’ve mentioned previously, one of the questions that I get asked most frequently is what tech companies in the Heartland should the average person be watching. The question is a fair one — the channel that I write for is called “Heartland Tech,” after all. But the question also makes me concerned that some people think of the middle of America as one large, monolithic swath of land.I bring this up because as VentureBeat is putting together its lineup for our inaugural BLUEPRINT conference, I’ve been heartened to see how many companies are finding success in a diverse mix of cities — from Reno, where our event will be held, to Missoula, Montana to Madison, Wisconsin.

Ultimately, finding success as a Heartland company comes down to leveraging the unique strengths of your city. Filament, a company profiled in the Heartland Tech channel this week, found its headquarters of Reno helpful when trying to woo investors in the Bay Area. One of our guest writers, Alida Miranda-Wolff, also spoke this week with female executives in the Midwest, who found that — while the region still has a long way to go to achieve gender parity in tech — at least one female founder found that being a women in tech in the Midwest was an advantage because “certain norms and formulas for what a tech startup should look like are less defined and entrenched [here].”

So, while I think “what Heartland tech companies should I be watching?” is a valid question, I think that a good follow-up question — and one that will help you really understand what makes a company worth watching — is “how are these companies leveraging the strengths of their respective cities?”

As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email, and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

Featured Video

Please enjoy this video from Inc., “The biggest problem with venture capital in the U.S.? Turns out there’s 3.

From the Heartland Tech Channel

Nevada’s Filament unveils chip that lets industrial IoT devices communicate with blockchains

Filament, a Reno, Nevada-based startup that develops blockchain solutions to leverage industrial internet of things data, today announced the Blocklet chip, which will allow any industrial device to communicate and interact with multiple blockchain technologies. Founded in 2012, Filament’s business model initially focused on what cofounder and CEO Allison Clift-Jennings described as more well-known applications […]

Read the full story

Startup founders are older, more diverse, and don’t live in San Francisco

GUEST: For decades, Silicon Valley was the place to build a thriving tech career. Just like actors flock to Los Angeles and writers to New York City, eager young coders swarmed to San Francisco for their chance to make it big. Look no further than the popular HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. There’s a reason the Pied Piper guys […]

Read the full story

How female founders are faring in the Midwest

GUEST: Women remain underrepresented in tech, even as the industry tries to address jaw-dropping statistics about their absence in tech’s upper echelon. Less than 3 percent of female founders raised venture capital in 2017, even though in the first quarter of 2017, 17 percent of startups reported having a female founder. On the venture capital side, less […]

Read the full story

How venture philanthropy can revitalize the Heartland

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that nobody agrees on how to create economic growth. That shouldn’t be surprising — successful and sustainable economic development is a monumental challenge. In St. Louis, we’ve primarily used public place-based investments, like tax increment financing, to revitalize our city. But at Arch Grants, we’ve chosen […]

Read the full story

Beyond VB

Indy Can Become A Tech Hub Without The New Amazon Headquarters

It’s rarely obvious in the moment that a tipping point has arrived. Did Indy become a technology city when Salesforce acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013, minting dozens of new millionaires and eventually planting its name atop our tallest skyscraper in April 2017? (via Indianapolis Monthly)

Read the full story

The frenetic race to build Detroit’s Amazon bid

At 6:11 p.m. on Oct. 17, Melissa Dittmer was bone-tired after a six-week sprint working on Detroit’s bid to land Amazon’s second corporate campus. It was two days before a proposal for the most prized economic development project in recent memory had to be submitted to the Seattle-based retail, entertainment and tech juggernaut. (via Crain’s Detroit Business)

Read the full story

What America can learn from cities with super-low unemployment

In one sense, Ames, Iowa, has something any other city might envy: An unemployment rate of 1.5%, the lowest in America. (via CNN Money)

Read the full story

Where investors are missing startup opportunities in America

Venture capitalists and other startup investors regularly jet from coast to coast in search of the next big deal, routinely referring to everything in between as “flyover country.” While there has recently been more attention given to the heartland in terms of investing — such as AOL co-founder Steve Case’s new Rise of the Rest fund — there is still undeniably very little awareness of just how strong the entrepreneurial markets are in the middle of the country. (via Entrepreneur)

Read the full story