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Happy Holidays! Given that it’s a slow news week, I’m going to take this week’s newsletter to highlight some of my favorite stories we’ve published in the Heartland Tech section this year, in addition to some of the best stories we published this week.

This story on 5 U.S. cities Amazon should consider for HQ2 was our most-viewed one on the Heartland Tech channel this year. The cities were: Austin, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Salt Lake City. If I had to write the list over again, I probably would have added a Southern city, such as Atlanta or Dallas, to the mix. It’s worth noting as the Amazon HQ2 decision draws closer that some of the most critical resources that the ecommerce giant will be looking for in its second headquarters include: available real estate, access to plenty of tech talent, and, of course, generous tax subsidies.

I also covered an eye-opening study from the Economic Innovation Group, which found that nearly 3 in 4 jobs go to the top 40 percent of communities in the U.S. I highly suggest reading the study if you haven’t to understand how large the gap between economically prosperous and economically distressed communities in the U.S. is becoming. It’s a topic that we’ll be discussing at VentureBeat’s inaugural BLUEPRINT event, which will take place March 5-7 in Reno, Nevada. If you’re interested in joining the discussion, you can request your invite here.

One of our guest writers, Dustin McKissen, wrote about an early stage fund for rural startups launched by the state of Colorado and how it can serve as a model for the nation. As McKissen wrote, this fund “sends an important message to rural residents, who feel increasingly feel left behind by a rapidly changing economy.”

Finally, Byron Auguste and Yolanda Townsend, from a nonprofit called Opportunity at Work, discussed how Heartland startups can help ease the talent scarcity in their city by considering more applicants from non-traditional backgrounds. Their premise is simple: If you can do the job, you should get the job.

I’m looking forward to telling more stories about the Heartland in 2018. As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email, and please remember to share these #HeartlandTech stories on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

Please enjoy this video from CNBC, “New tax plan could accelerate Californians leaving the state

From the Heartland Tech Channel

3 disruptive industries that will thrive in the southern U.S. next year

GUEST: In the U.S., the Southeast’s tech ecosystem is traditionally strong in a few defined sectors: Fintech, SaaS, and health IT are among the industries thriving in terms of successful exits, high-growth companies, and venture dollars. But just as the broader tech scene is constantly changing, new industries will emerge and pick up steam in the […]

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Over the holidays, Bay Area transplants should check out the tech industry in their hometown

GUEST: I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 11 years before moving to London for three, but my wife and I grew up in the Midwest, which meant annual trips home for the holidays. Our nights were usually packed with family events or reconnecting with old friends, but our days were relatively free. In […]

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The wolf of Main Street: Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster on the Midwest, AI, and Apple

Many VC firms pride themselves on being based in Silicon Valley, where the action is. The region may attract top talent and create an undeniably powerful network effect, but the Heartland has its fair share of innovative startups and funding. After working for 21 years as a research analyst at Piper Jaffray, Gene Munster decided […]

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Heartland Tech’s 2018 predictions: Seed capital, apprenticeships, and HQ2 publicity stunts

OPINION: In 2017, there seemed to be an uptick in tech companies looking to connect with the Heartland. Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, “coastal elites” were left wondering why their perspective on the issues facing America was so different from that of the rest of the country. It wasn’t surprising that tech leaders in Silicon […]

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Beyond VB

Are VCs toxic? Not in the Midwest

Eric Paley of Founder Collective recently argued in TechCrunch that “VC kills more startups than slow customer adoption, technical debt and co-founder infighting — combined.” (via Lewis & Clark Ventures)

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Chicago Tech raised $113M in December

Chicago-area tech and startup companies received at least $113 million in venture capital funding in December as the year comes to a close. (via Chicago Inno)

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This policy helped build Missouri’s innovation districts, and it might be going away

Three years ago, I took a risk and started a marketing and public relations consulting company. Starting my own firm meant giving up a steady paycheck, which was something that I (and most other people) take very seriously. (via Silicon Prairie News)

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CubeMonk lauded at forefront of disruptive blockchain cryptocurrency revolution

Momentum is building for Kansas City-based CubeMonk — and the blockchain cryptography platform behind it is poised to go further than most people can even imagine, said Todd Haselhorst. (via Startland News)

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