Defining the Midwest Tech Industry Part 1


Enjoy this two part series written by our guest blogger from KCNext, Kaitlin Motley.

The Midwest tech industry is getting more attention than ever before, but a thriving tech sector is nothing new to the Heartland states. Major, multinational corporations were founded—and remain—in the Midwest. First Data Corporation and West Corporation in Omaha; Alliance Technologies in Des Moines; Cerner, Garmin and Sprint in Kansas City—the list goes on.

Successful Midwest companies have set the stage for the startups of today. Whether it’s providing capital, mentorship or the skills and experience that an innovator needs to launch a successful venture, Midwest firms are willing to pay it forward. Dwolla, DivvyHQ, AgLocal, MindMixer and EyeVerify are just a few Silicon Prairie startups that have had major success.

The Midwest has long served as the connector between the west and the east.  This is still true in today’s tech industry. Much of the nation’s fiber infrastructure runs along roads and rail lines. Kansas City is the nation’s second largest rail hub and one of only a few cities that has multiple interstate highways intersecting in the region. In 2011, Google selected Kansas City as the test site for Google Fiber – providing gigabit internet speeds to homes all around KC. Recently , Google announced they will be testing a similar service for small business and a community Wi-fi product for Kansas City.

Myriad advantages make the Midwest a data destination. Moderate climates, sprawling space and areas of low population density attract high-powered data centers to the region. There’s a reason Facebook established a data center in Altoona, Iowa, and Lightedge Solutions recently opened a virtually limitless data facility underground in Kansas City—there’s no better place to keep data safe than in the Midwest.

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