I lived within the San Francisco Bay Area for 11 years earlier than shifting to London, however my spouse and I grew up within the Midwest, which meant annual journeys dwelling for the vacations. Our nights have been normally filled with household occasions or reconnecting with outdated associates, however our days have been comparatively free. In reality, getting out of my dad and mom’ home would have completed me some good (everybody has their breaking level). Grabbing espresso with a startup founder or native tech investor or simply going downtown would have supplied me with each a crucial escape and a have a look at how a lot had modified throughout the years I’d been away.

For many Midwest cities, like Indianapolis, Columbus, and Pittsburgh, so much has modified. Trendy communities have sprung forth from neighborhoods as soon as marred by industrial homogeny or city neglect. Warehouses grew to become attractive loft flats and derelict outdated houses reworked into prime actual property. Good beer, espresso, and meals adopted. The West Loop is an ideal instance of how even established cities like Chicago or Minneapolis are altering to accommodate a workforce that’s as more likely to work in tech as on the exchanges or for a Fortune 500 firm.


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So to assist these Midwest natives coming dwelling from Silicon Valley for the vacations, I’ve compiled a fast record of issues to do in your outdated (new) hometown. As an added bonus, I’ve supplied some nice areas so that you can try.

Grab a espresso with a neighborhood tech investor

While you’ve been away, an ecosystem of enterprise buyers has developed and is actively serving to startups develop into giant, market-defining companies. Drive Capital (my agency) is a kind of, and we’ve been energetic throughout most of those cities. Investors may give you an summary of the panorama and introduce you to firms which are poised to turn out to be the following Braintree, GrubHub, or ExactTarget.

Pittsburgh: Constellation Coffee and Delanies Coffee

Chicago: Bow Truss Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee

Columbus: Mission Coffee and One Line Coffee

Ann Arbor: Sweetwater’s Coffee and Tea

Minneapolis: Peace Coffee

Have lunch with a pal who works for a tech firm

Many giant employers in Midwest cities at the moment are tech firms. Epic Systems in Madison, Salesforce Marketing Cloud in Indianapolis, and Groupon in Chicago make use of 1000’s. See for your self that it’s not simply legislation companies and banks anymore. It’s doubtless that their company meals service consists of vegan, gluten-free, cold-pressed, and domestically sourced choices to accommodate your delicate Bay Area palate.

Grab a beer with a startup founder

The greatest solution to discover your hometown is to speak to its entrepreneurs. What issues are they attempting to unravel? How are they constructing their firm? What are the variations between constructing a startup there versus in Silicon Valley? Their solutions to those questions will shock you.

And you could possibly assist. Your experiences are invaluable and should result in advisory alternatives even when you’ve got no plans to return within the close to future. Helping individuals is enjoyable, and the influence in your hometown when a neighborhood startup succeeds is profound.

Minneapolis: Surly Brewing Co.

Columbus: Land Grant Brewing Company and Rock Mill Tavern

Cincinnati: Rhinegeist Brewery and Beer Garden

Cleveland: Platform Brewing Company and The Market Garden Brewery

Pittsburgh: Grist House Craft Brewery

Just go downtown

As I discussed above, the downtown space of nearly each mid-sized to giant Midwest metropolis is dramatically completely different from once you grew up there. If your dad and mom stay within the suburbs, you may need missed it. So spend a while testing the numerous nice eating places, bars, and neighborhoods driving the cultural revival of your native massive metropolis, even for those who don’t meet with an investor or startup founder.

Peek at actual property listings on Zillow

This one is apparent — so apparent you’ve most likely completed it the final thrice you’ve been dwelling.

The level of all of that is to gather information. At the very least, you’ll preserve your sanity by getting away from the in-laws for a few hours. At most, you’ll be taught that thrilling alternatives in rising tech firms should not restricted to the Bay Area.

Robert Hatta is the Talent Partner at Drive Capital, a VC fund targeted on modern firms all through the Midwest. This publish initially appeared on LinkedIn. 

This article sources data from VentureBeat