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Startups Pitch Tech Hubs Far From Silicon Valley

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U.S. map showing changes in numbers of innovation-sector jobs by metropolitan area with at least 1,000 employees in 2017.

Entrepreneurs are working on spreading technical talent more evenly across the U.S., by working to attract funding and workers to places far from the large tech hubs in Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, and Seattle.

Credit: Brookings Institution and ITIF

Entrepreneurs are looking outside Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston, and New York City to establish technology hubs in U.S. states far from its coasts.

Such areas promote lower living costs or higher quality of life to draw talent, and startup founders are creating relocation services, tech training, and venture capital to add appeal.

The One America Works nonprofit uses technology to relocate businesses; founder Patrick McKenna said its goal is to relieve problems typical of urban tech overconcentration, like congestion and scarcity of affordable housing, by helping Silicon Valley firms move elsewhere.

Economists cite the difficulty of upstart tech hubs challenging the "agglomeration" of technology companies and talent in a few cities, which enables faster idea proliferation and larger recruitment pools.

Some startups aim to nurture existing tech talent in the Midwest, like the Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis, which teaches coding to lower-skilled workers.

From The Wall Street Journal
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