Heartland Tech Weekly: How to know what startups are really worth watching


As I’ve mentioned previously, one of the questions that I get asked most frequently is what tech companies in the Heartland should the average person be watching. The question is a fair one — the channel that I write for is called “Heartland Tech,” after all. But the question also makes me concerned that some people think of the middle of America as one large, monolithic swath of land.I bring this up because as VentureBeat is putting together its lineup for our inaugural BLUEPRINT conference, I’ve been heartened to see how many companies are finding success in a diverse mix of cities — from Reno, where our event will be held, to Missoula, Montana to Madison, Wisconsin.

Ultimately, finding success as a Heartland company comes down to leveraging the unique strengths of your city. Filament, a company profiled in the Heartland Tech channel this week, found its headquarters of Reno helpful when trying to woo investors in the Bay Area. One of our guest writers, Alida Miranda-Wolff, also spoke this week with female executives in the Midwest, who found that — while the region still has a long way to go to achieve gender parity in tech — at least one female founder found that being a women in tech in the Midwest was an advantage because “certain norms and formulas for what a tech startup should look like are less defined and entrenched [here].”

So, while I think “what Heartland tech companies should I be watching?” is a valid question, I think that a good follow-up question — and one that will help you really understand what makes a company worth watching — is “how are these companies leveraging the strengths of their respective cities?”

As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email, and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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