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It’s now been one year since the 2016 election, which, if you believe the steady drumbeat of news articles in the months that followed, served as a “wake-up call” for Silicon Valley that it was failing to connect with the rest of the country.

In that year, Silicon Valley hasn’t magically hired thousands of laid-off factory workers. But there have been signs that the tech industry recognizes that it can’t just keep hiring within Cupertino, Mountain View, or San Jose forever. How much of that has been driven by politics and how much by supply and demand is up for interpretation.

Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg have both spent time visiting with companies in the Heartland. Individuals like former Uber exec Brian McClendon have left Silicon Valley to return to work in their home states. And of course, there was the news that Amazon will create a second headquarters somewhere in North America, which if it brings the 50,000 high-level jobs it promises to, could create an entirely new tech locus.

The area where I think more progress needs to be made is in distribution of venture capital. Most of the entrepreneurs I’ve talked to outside of Silicon Valley this year say that the VCs they meet with are still hesitant to invest in an entrepreneur who’s not a 10-minute drive away. Venture capitalists, not philanthropists, have the power to fund the startups to really grow cities outside of the coasts into business hubs — not just photo ops.

P.S. Send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to me via email — bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel, and please remember to share these #HeartlandTech stories on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter


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