Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Celebrate our 5th anniversary and—for one week only—get the best tech and business reporting for $100 off—just $299/year.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Venture Capital Cities

To Thrive in Midwest, Investors Shouldn’t Copy Silicon Valley

As a venture capitalist investing in applications of artificial intelligence for the future of work, especially the automation of offices, factories and farms, I try to regularly visit different places and work settings. Recently, I had the opportunity to return to the Midwest on a “Comeback Cities Tour” with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and a dozen venture capitalists.

The Midwest, of course, isn’t a monolith. Some places are thriving even as others struggle. Still, I imagined we would encounter rundown factories, empty farms, old-style buildings and a sense of mistrust from people who fear their jobs being squeezed out by technology. But the Midwest we were shown was quite the opposite: exposed brick walls, single-origin coffee, modern furniture and designer hoodies. In short, it looked a whole lot like San Francisco. A local clothing entrepreneur told me, “That’s what I’m going after.”

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Autonomous Vehicles Crypto Media

The Tech Industry: 2018 Through 2023

By Jessica E. Lessin

Semiconductors Cloud

Qualcomm Lays Off 269 Employees, Mostly in Data Center Business

By Aaron Tilley


Facebook Revelations Damage Image in Tech Industry, Subscribers Say

By Wendy Pollack

It seems appropriate for outside investors to question whether they are inflicting the wounds of pattern-matching on the Midwest.