By Mark Minevich, Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor, Principal Going Global Ventures and AI /Digital Expert
For many years, much of American innovation — particularly tech innovation — was concentrated on the coasts. Just five metropolitan areas (Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose) accounted for 90% of all U.S. high-tech job growth between 2005 to 2017.
Those days are coming to a close. The modern map of innovation and entrepreneurship is starting to shift as companies and innovators move inward toward the heartland. U.S. states primarily known for their agro business are becoming known for their hubs of innovation, with high rates of startup growth and growing networks of business owners and entrepreneurs.
This is an important migration of people and ideas. It allows for the unlocking of the private sector for job creation investment, which will in turn stimulate economic growth and speed up America’s Recovery by investing heavily in geographic areas that typically do not get as much infusion of funding.
Which cities are already proof of this inland innovation explosion? Well, for starters, here are eight of the most prominent.
The gateway to the west has spent the last decade building innovation infrastructure, including three gems in Cortex Innovation Community, BioSTL in Midtown and the coming National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on the city’s northside. At the same time, innovators have access to:
Spirit of St. Louis Fund for NPOs
Downtown T-Rex co-working space and incubator
Several co-working and innovation communities
Multiple angel investors in the region
With the presence of several fortune 100 companies, a huge supply of VC funds and public grats, plus a vast amount of resources designed specifically for innovators and entrepreneurs St. Louis is on the precipice of leading the United States in 21st century innovation.