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This week’s newsletter is (almost) all about Amazon, given the news from Thursdaythat the company had selected its shortlist of 20 communities that are still in the running for HQ2. I gave my take on what to expect from Amazon (and the finalists) from here on out. We also ran this guest post from Mike Asem, the director of Chicago venture firm M25, about how the Midwest cities that made the cut fare against the competition.
After reflecting on the news a bit, there are a couple of other points I wanted to make about what the shortlist reveals about Amazon’s end game:
- 3 of the top 20 cities and counties are in the Washington, D.C. metro area — making D.C. the near-certain front runner.
- I was a little surprised at first to see that there weren’t more smaller metro areas on the list — I included both Detroit and Salt Lake City on my initial list of 5 cities Amazon should consider. But I think that this reveals that Amazon is likely going to go with a more obvious choice like New York, D.C., or Chicago, and perhaps this HQ2 selection process is a way to get more incentives from a city that wouldn’t initially be keen to give them to Amazon.
- On the other hand, Joe Parilla from the Brookings Institution has an intriguing, opposite take: that Amazon is using the HQ2 process to gather intel that can be used for other investments that companies might make in the future, from more logistics centers to future R&D hubs.
In the “Beyond VB” section, I’ve also included a number of other stories that I think are worth reading on the HQ2 news.
I also wanted to flag some other news on the corporate expansion front: Typically secretive Apple announced last week that it would be opening another campus somewhere in the U.S., while Google is reportedly adding up to 5,000 jobs in Chicago in this January 9 story I missed from Crain’s Chicago.
What does this mean? That if Google, Apple, and Amazon want to tap into the best talent, they need to increase their presence in locales off the main road. I’m excited to see how these expansions play out as we get closer to our BLUEPRINTconference, which will discuss how companies can be smarter about expanding in the era of HQ2.
As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email, and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.
Thanks for reading,
Heartland Tech Reporter
Please enjoy this video from CNBC, “Toronto Mayor John Troy: Amazon would be a great addition to Toronto economy”
From the Heartland Tech Channel
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Cities Should Act More Like Amazon to Better Serve Their Citizens
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Three Amazon finalists are inside the Beltway. What gives?
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The disturbing part about Amazon’s HQ2 competition
Amazon’s short list of contenders for its much ballyhooed HQ2 reads like a who’s who of the most economically vibrant and dynamic cities in North America. (via CNN)
Where Amazon HQ2 Could Worsen Affordability the Most
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