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I’m at the Collision Conference in New Orleans this week, where I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Silicon Valley vs. everywhere else.” But I don’t think the conversation should focus only on the merits of Silicon Valley versus the rest of the country. Rather, in today’s era of distributed teams, it’s about how companies can find a combination of cities to operate in or maintain a presence in that works for them.

Take Ready Robotics, a company I profiled last week that decided to move its headquarters to Columbus, Ohio — while maintaining an office in its original HQ base of Baltimore, Maryland — in order to target the manufacturing strongholds of the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Additionally, one of the articles in this week’s “Beyond VB” section explores how Midwest startups with Silicon Valley connections are attracting more funding.

But there’s at least one point “team everywhere else” can put in their corner. More people I’ve spoken with at the Collision Conference have reacted warmly to the idea that startups outside of Silicon Valley deserve a spotlight than I’ve found at other events, where many people I meet think Silicon Valley should still be the first stop for every entrepreneur.

Naturally, almost everyone I spoke with cited cost of living as the biggest deterrent when it comes to the Bay Area. One founder I talked to said that he doesn’t think he could start the same kind of company in Silicon Valley today that he did 12 years ago, as much more upfront capital would now be needed in order to operate in such an expensive area.

As always, please send me your thoughts via email.

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter


Check out this video from VentureBeat, “How to revitalize struggling cities by attracting and retaining entrepreneurs

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Beyond VB

One Goal of Amazon’s HQ2: Learn the Lessons of Seattle

Amazon has surprised officials in cities vying for the company’s new headquarters by asking how to avoid soaring housing costs and paralyzing traffic. (via The New York Times)

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What Birmingham Gets Right About Innovation & How to Replicate it in any City

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Why Midwest Startups With Valley Connections Attract Funding

A trend is emerging in venture capital that is good news for the Midwest startup ecosystem: Companies led by seasoned entrepreneurs who strategically opened major offices in both the Midwest and Silicon Valley attract funding from top-tier VC firms. While it is too early to determine whether this will be the next big wave in Midwest VC funding, recent evidence of this trend has clearly surfaced in Chicago. (via Forbes)

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Coinbase Is Reportedly Opening an Office in Chicago

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