The Midwest is Not Trying to Be the New Silicon Valley
The Midwest is becoming a hub for entrepreneurs in its’ unique way.
Long referred to as The Fly Over Zone or other dismissive terms, the Midwest has come into its own for innovation, and it has done so by tapping into native research institutions, creative energy, and a supportive business environment.
That’s why we’re here…
We like everything about the Midwest region — the people, the integrity, the work ethic.
Business.org recently named its Top 10 Cities for Start-ups. Two of the ten, Minneapolis, MN and Columbus, OH, are squarely in the Midwest. Ranked ahead of Boston, Denver, Seattle, and Portland. We are proud to locate in a city that is leading the growth of startup companies.
Minneapolis was ranked first in its percentage of startup growth at 121.3%, and Columbus was positioned as The Next Startup City in 2017 in an article by TechCrunch. Both share the same Midwest characteristics that make a formidable combination: a highly educated young adult population, an evolving structure for startups and extremely affordable costs of living, which translate into a practical reality for the organizations based here: lower costs. Quite simply money goes farther in the Midwest.
We love Columbus. The last few years have seen our city rise as a center of innovation. With a solid ecosystem for funded startups, Columbus is becoming a center for expats from the East and West coasts who want a better quality of life and a fertile environment in which they can create and build new businesses.
Columbus has attracted venture funds like Revolution, headed by Steve Case and J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a fund concentrating on Midwest startups. Mark Kvamme also saw these opportunities early and started his firm, Drive, with partner Chris Olsen of Sequoia Capital. Drive has raised $550 million and invested in 26 Midwest ventures to-date.
Last year Columbus-based CoverMyMeds, a software system for prescribing medication, sold to McKesson for $1.1 billion. In 2017 Columbus was named a winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City initiative and received $50 million from the federal government and Vulcan, Inc. Through a series of public and private partnerships that funding has grown to $417 million. Enterprises like these create jobs for the 21st century and reinforce Columbus as a place where people choose start companies.
Yes, our deals may be smaller, and yes there may be fewer of them than in Silicon Valley, but Columbus is not trying to be Cupertino. It is its own regional center for disruption with its own character, values, and identity.
Of course, quality of life is a critical issue with today’s workforce, which plays heavily in the ability to hire and retain great talent for startups. The balance of work/not work is critical, and Columbus offers an attractive “not work” life with incredible options for foodies, urban living with walkable neighborhoods, and a rich offering of artistic engagements.
This is a great place to live. That’s why we’re located here and why we’re looking forward to serving Columbus’ entrepreneurial future.