Included in this week’s “Beyond VB” section is a story from the Mercury News about how startups are looking beyond Silicon Valley for talent. The two places startups quoted in the piece are heading to? Portland, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho. In a similar piece I wrote for VentureBeat back in November, I spoke with two startups that have opened up offices in Missoula, Montana and Denver, Colorado, respectively.

Anecdotally, most of the startups I’ve spoken with that were previously based in Silicon Valley or are still located there tend to look to the West Coast when it comes time to move operations or open a second office. They want to retain the advantages of being close to San Francisco — without paying San Francisco-priced rent.

Where does that leave cities that are further from Silicon Valley but still hoping to grow their tech ecosystem? It certainly doesn’t mean they can’t attract second offices — after all, the majority of the finalists for Amazon’s HQ2 are located on the East Coast.

But startups and government officials in these cities do have to work a little harder to educate investors and companies about their tech community and get them to pay a visit. People from Silicon Valley are less likely to vacation in Columbus, Ohio than in Phoenix, Arizona, for example.

The good news is it’s clear cities don’t have to be a vacation destination to attract interest from Silicon Valley. Pittsburgh, for example, is now home to Google, Amazon, and Uber offices — though the city’s ecosystem is was already buoyed by a top-tier research university.

But other cities may have to work harder at coming up with events to attract people from the coasts. As I mentioned in my newsletter a few weeks ago, the key is to build long-lasting relationships with the people who do come into town.

Additionally, startup leaders may find that they have to spend a good portion of their time dispelling myths about the business climate in their city. One of the guest authors in the Heartland Tech section this week, Julia Kanouse, discusses some of the biggest myths she’s encountered regarding Midwest tech — and why they’re wrong.

Finally, one piece of advice for city officials: Don’t underestimate the power of having lots of direct flights to San Francisco. When I speak with startup founders around the country about what it’s like to do business in their cities, direct access to San Francisco is one of the most commonly cited positives. And it will make it a lot easier to get people to your city for two- or three-day events.

As always, thanks for reading, and please send me your thoughts via email. You can also sign up here for VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech newsletter to get this column in your inbox weekly.

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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