This week’s Heartland Tech selection includes an op-ed from Bill Baumel, managing director of the Ohio Innovation Fund. He lays out the challenges that the Midwest still faces in securing more venture capital, including a mindset that doesn’t think big enough.

These few sentences from Bill particularly struck me:

Too many startups in the Midwest have very conservative plans: years of modest growth that eventually lead to $10 million-plus in revenues after seven-plus years. … A lot of these startups have unique and powerful offerings but don’t realize that they have a finite window of opportunity before competition comes and eventually eclipses them.

The idea that many Midwest startups have modest revenue goals is nothing new, but being too conservative leaves room for competitors to crowd them out. For example, when it comes to creating stronger tech hubs, many investors I talk to cite the Midwest’s expertise in B2B industries as one of the region’s biggest advantages. All of that deep industry knowledge goes to waste, however, if Midwestern startups don’t think big enough and are lapped by more nimble Silicon Valley companies.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please send me your thoughts via email.

Anna Hensel

Heartland Tech reporter

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