Included in this week’s “Beyond VB” section is an argument from John C. Austin at the Brookings Institution about how the Rust Belt still needs more capital in order to create more tech jobs.
Many of the ecosystem builders I’ve spoken to disagree on how much of a role capital plays in building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. But there’s one point from Austin’s article that I think a lot of ecosystem builders can get behind: Getting more capital to the Heartland starts not with getting more Silicon Valley VCs out here, but with convincing Midwest institutions to invest more in their own backyard.
Austin cites a recent article from the Detroit Free Press that finds that since 1998, the University of Michigan has made just one investment in a Detroit-based money manager, a private equity firm. Here in the Heartland Tech section, Refinery Ventures’ Tim Schigel has argued that university endowments should invest more of their dollars into venture capital funds in order to support local founders.
Additionally, a 2010 study found that VC firms received 47 percent of their money from pension funds in the Upper Midwest — even though just 12 percent of VC dollars was invested in startups in the same area.
I’m curious to hear if this is a topic that’s generated much discussion in your own communities: how to get more legacy institutions investing in Midwest VC funds.
Heartland Tech Reporter
Check out this video on Nashville’s boom in tech jobs
From the Heartland Tech channel
Shawn Farrow had been trying to get a full-time job in the tech industry since getting his associate’s degree in computer science from a Seattle-area community college in 2013. He was attending a coding bootcamp in 2016 to brush up on his skills when he heard a tech apprenticeship program called Apprenti was launching in the area.
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GUEST: Internet use in rural areas rose to 61 percent (from 2 percent) between 2000 and 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But recent reports show that overall infrastructural expansion has slowed down due to lack of funding. One big challenge associated with installation is the time frame needed for installation at the new customer’s household.
Tech entrepreneur and business owner Sashank Purighalla had developed software in Australia, India, Alabama and Philadelphia. When it came to launching a new tech company that adds efficiency to software development, he chose Nashville. “I saw where Nashville consistently was figuring in the top 10 cities in the country to live and work and grow,” Purighalla said. “I happened to make some quick sales here, so people seemed to adapt to this new thought process. (via Tennessean)
Since Rust Belt voters tipped the results of the 2016 election, interest in effective strategies for supporting new business and job growth in this important region has intensified. Such interest recognizes that the states of the upper Midwest share more than their swing state status. A unique economic and social development storyline unites the industrial heartland, extending across all or part of 12 states from Minnesota and Missouri in the West. (via Brookings Institution)
The insecure nature of work is a result of decisions by corporations and policymakers. When we learn about the Industrial Revolution in school, we hear a lot about factories, steam engines, maybe the power loom. We are taught that technological innovation drove social change and radically reshaped the world of work. Likewise, when we talk about today’s economy, we focus on smartphones, artificial intelligence, apps. (via New York Times)
Digital division in Kansas City is taking its toll on the local workforce, said Jeremy Hegle. More must be done to allow skilled workers access to technology offering them a chance to succeed in a rapidly growing electronic economy, added Hegle, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City senior community development advisor. In defining the digital divide — a lack of access to a computer and high-speed internet connectivity — Hegle said a concentrated effort to promote digital inclusion could rectify the situation and redefine the strength of the Kansas City job market. (via Startland News)