Startups and investors are increasingly shifting their focus from the Silicon Valley to the Silicon Prairie as technology makes a great migration to the Midwest. The Midwest has established itself as a culture with a distinctive brand of entrepreneurship, and we’re taking time to shed light on a region that has been undervalued up until this point.
While the Silicon Valley will forever have a reputation of drive and ambition from the invention of Google to the creation of the computer chip, change is among us and the Midwest is becoming known for things beyond its rural terrain and farming- it’s on the rise as a technological and innovation hub. The tech advancements once made in San Francisco are now supporting a rapid expansion in the Midwest and producing excessive technology, and more importantly, the companies of the future.
Are you currently on the verge of starting an adtech or martech company? Keep reading three reasons the Silicon Prairie is the ideal place to build your business on a foundation of success.
1. The Midwest is Booming
Opportunities are abundant throughout the Midwest, and we want to take the time to highlight the amazing entrepreneurs, technologies, and companies expanding the region. Sources suggest 90% of the future technology market capitalization will be created outside of Silicon Valley, and they just might shift to the Midwest.
Within this region, there are 150 Fortune 500 companies. Along with this, 25% of all computer science degrees are awarded by Midwest universities such as University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Michigan and Wisconsin to name a few. With all of these high-quality schools within an hour’s flight, there certainly isn’t a shortage of talent to choose from.
The Midwest is also home to 60% of the country’s manufacturing base and makes up 19% of America’s GDP. However, in a place so ripe with innovation, it accounts for only 5% of all venture capital funding.
There are certainly key advantages that allow a company to thrive in the Midwest, one being a lower cost of living. According to estimates, a startup in the Silicon Prairie could have a burn rate of 50% less than a Silicon Valley startup with the same employee headcount and office size. Because of this, companies in the Silicon Prairie can push toward profitability faster. Cost of living as a whole is about one-third of what it is in California.
Lastly, a lot of companies on the coast are attempting to solve problems that exist in Middle America. Startups in the Midwest are better able to tackle these problems due to the fact that they are physically closer to them.
2. Economic Growth is Exploding
In the past, the vast majority of tech investors have poured their money into California, New York, and Massachusetts, making up 76% of all venture capital investments. However, last year the total investments in Midwestern companies reached an all-time high of $4.5 billion.
The companies sprouting up here are not only generating revenues and booming technologies but economic growth for the region as a whole. There is a focus on manufacturing and agriculture, but also industries such as insurance, IoT, healthcare, and bioengineering have contributed to the area’s success as well. This boom in business has created thousands of job opportunities for locals as well.
Stephanie Luebbe is the executive director of the Nebraska Angels, a network of 60 angel investors who have invested $11 million in local startups. She emphasizes the importance of the fact that companies are not only starting in the Midwest, but they are choosing to stay there rather than relocate to places such as San Francisco.
“There are lots of reasons to invest in the Midwest, or start a company there,” she says. “The dollar goes further here than on the coast, run rates are longer, there’s a ton of affordable talent, and there’s the Midwest work ethic.”
The Midwest market is surging as technology companies begin to elevate their presence in the area. With a distinct approach to business, success is predicted to continue. While the Silicon Prairie isn’t replacing the Silicon Valley by any means, it is without a double special in its own way and a rising hub for growth and innovation.
3. It’s Still Maturing
The best part of all? The Silicon Prairie is still a developing region and room for growth is astronomical. As the Midwest begins to gain attention as one of the leading tech hubs for entrepreneurs around the country, it is certainly a place to have on your radar. Many leaders in the tech world are starting in the Silicon Prairie and receiving national recognition for their advancements.
For those in the adtech and media space, this area of the country is remarkable and allows for tremendous growth throughout the industry- something any company involved can reap the benefits from. These startups are contributing largely to America’s innovational success with no signs of slowing down.
The Silicon Prairie gives startups the opportunity to focus on things that larger, established entities aren’t able to. These tech companies are working on innovations that will continue to make an impact across the nation, and these applications in technology are ones to pay attention to in order to take your business to the next level.