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May 7, 201912:27 PMInside Wisconsin

with Tom Still

Upper Midwest’s ‘I-Q Corridor’ offers options to coastal congestion

(page 2 of 2)

States near Wisconsin have helped to launch large “funds of funds” to invest in the most promising deals and to attract even more outside dollars. The latest example is the $250 million “Next Level Fund” in Indiana.

The growing effort to make the Upper Midwest an attractive alternative to the coasts is a theme of the upcoming Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, to be held June 4–5 at Venue42 in the Milwaukee Brewing Co.

Investors, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders from across the region will gather to talk about the I-Q Corridor’s assets and its challenges. One glaring challenge is perception, which for some people is still trapped in Rustbelt imagery.

Kennedy talked about Colorado’s once-fragmented brand when he spoke in November 2018 at a Tech Council conference in Madison, offering advice that could apply to Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.

“Your brand can’t be something you are not. A unified brand or message is powerful and memorable,” Kennedy said at the time.

About 500 miles separate California’s tech hubs in San Diego and San Francisco. The distance between Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul is a little more than 400 miles, much of it in Wisconsin. Linking Upper Midwest hubs along the I-Q Corridor around a common message could help each compete on a larger stage.

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About This Blog

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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