This week on the Heartland Tech channel, we published an essay from Josh Driver, the founder of an Indiana software startup and a member of the LGBTQ community, on how his state can create a more welcoming environment for businesses. There’s a few sentences I’d like to highlight in particular:

“Personally, as the founder of a tech startup, I want to know that Indiana has my back. You can give me tax credits and incentives all day long, but I’m looking for authentic support. I need to know that the tech talent I need to grow my business is welcomed here.”

This is a sentiment that I hear repeatedly from the founders of tech startups, as well as organizations that seek to make their states more startup friendly: Tax incentives aren’t enough. The states and cities that are going to pull ahead — as tech companies, from industry giants like Google and Amazon to young startups, look to add more jobs outside of Silicon Valley — are the ones that recognize that building a tech hub is about more than just wooing businesses, but also wooing the people who will help grow the business.

What does it look like to create a good environment for tech talent? It depends upon who you ask, but a few answers I hear cited most often are: a place that’s welcoming to tech workers from various backgrounds, a place with a strong school system that middle and senior-level workers will be comfortable sending their children to, and a place that allows workers to live an active lifestyle.

We’ll be publishing a few more stories in the coming week on the Heartland Tech channel on what various companies have learned about what it takes to bring tech talent to Heartland cities. We’ll also be discussing the topic at VentureBeat’s Blueprint conference on March 5-7 in Reno, Nevada.

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

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From the Heartland Tech Channel

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What cities with fast-growing tech companies have in common

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Why 2018 will be a good year for Midwest startups 

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Amazon fulfillment centers don’t lead to a noticeable increase in jobs, study finds

How great an effect a tech company has when it moves into a new town comes down to one thing: jobs. And it’s not just how many jobs the company itself creates but how its presence then prompts other businesses to hire from that area. For many Heartland cities, the latest tech arrival is Amazon, […]

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Beyond VB

High-profile investors like Jeff Bezos, Ray Dalio, and Meg Whitman are flocking to a $150 million fund nurturing startups in overlooked American cities

As AOL cofounder Steve Case read author JD Vance’s memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” which is about the struggles of escaping poverty in Ohio via Kentucky transplants, he saw a slice of American life he’d been trying to improve for the last several years. (via Business Insider)

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People are scared of tech because we’re telling them to be scared, says Stripe CEO Patrick Collison

The only thing people have to fear about tech is fear itself, said Patrick Collison, who was a special guest at Recode and MSNBC’s first town hall event for the series “Revolution,” which aired on the cable network last night. (via Recode)

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Google to hire thousands in 9 states 

Google is going on a U.S. hiring spree, increasing its footprint outside of Silicon Valley. (via CNN Money)

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When Big Tech comes to town: Pittsburgh tries to repair Uber deal and apply lessons to Amazon bid

When Uber started eyeing this city as a testing ground for self-driving cars back in 2016, Mayor Bill Peduto decided to “roll out the red carpet,” in his own words. Uber delivered the promised star power, elevating Pittsburgh’s image and thrusting the former steel town’s revitalization into the limelight. But beyond notoriety, Uber didn’t deliver everything Peduto expected. (via Geek Wire)

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