By now, you've heard that America's Heartland region is rising as a Tech Belt. And you no doubt realize that Silicon Valley is spreading into what was known as Flyover Country.
Now, big potential can be seen in tech clusters way outside the dominant coasts that are emerging in Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Ann Arbor and even Appalachia.
The drivers of this innovation boom are venture investors, startups, universities, research institutes, community champions, economic developers, government support, plus remote working, and the region's "can-do" entrepreneurial culture, and strong work ethic.
Yet throughout the Heartland, challenges remain. VC is still in short supply. Over the past decade, funding has nearly quadrupled in 25 middle states to $20 billion, and it's reached almost 18,000 startups.
But that's a small pond. Few startups are breaking through nationally. Several in these new hubs have faced recent setbacks.
In several left-behind places, poverty and drug addiction remain. Broken-down factories and dilapidated homes are only gradually being replaced.
Can Silicon Heartland measure up to
Progress is coming but needs to speed up. More confidence is needed. Less fear of failure.
Not all Heartland places have found the formula to embrace a tech economy. They risk being left behind.
The CHIPs Act with $52.7 billion in funding for regional innovation hubs and high-tech manufacturing is an incentive to move ahead, and can be a counter to China's technology drive.
Remote industrial regions in the American Midwest that were nearly forgotten when money and power shifted to Silicon Valley and to China are now being rebooted and reenergized. This comeback bodes well for the nation's economy and global competitiveness.
Pre-order Silicon Heartland now.
The book tour following previews in NYC and San Francisco kicks off with a fireside chat, March 11, at SXSW 2023 in Austin.
And you can catch us in Vegas January 5.