Minnesota’s Technology Scene Needs to Break out of its Shell

A recent report from personal finance website NerdWallet ranked the 10 best cities to start a business in the U.S. Among the cities, Minneapolis was ranked 8th overall. The report was based of information dealing in small-business lending in 2012, average income, population growth rate and business per 100 residents. But in order to get more attention, Minnesota needs to open up its communication borders.

Throughout all the events I’ve attended and folks I’ve talked to in the scene, it’s painfully obvious that more attention needs to be brought to Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in general.

The scene is thriving, even if VC is down, and the excitement is here along with the traction and local user groups to keep things churning. The only issue is we are closed off. Social media isn’t used efficiently, and many publications in the Twin Cities refuse to step outside the boundaries of B2B.

It’s not emulation, it’s a refusal to take advantage of precedents set up in major technology hubs. What Minnesota needs to do is advertise itself and let go of the ‘Midwest pragmatism’ that we all suffer from. Sure, modesty is great, but taken to an extreme it can prevent prominent business interaction.

As my coworker Holden Page wrote on his blog, we need to have a voice for Minnesota’s thriving tech scene. The hesitancy and procrastination needs to stop. We could be Austin, albeit with worse weather, and we could drive web traffic to our region besides our own.

What we need is a grand, statewide marketing campaign. Someone needs to speak up and take action. Let the national public know what’s going on. The fact that Wisconsin is emulating our success in enough to show we have something going on. They have dominated us in small business for years, and now they’re starting to pay attention.

We need a collaborative movement to bring attention to the scene. Something that truly represents Minnesota. A local initiative, ready to deliver our skills and contributions as a state. There is nothing wrong with B2B publications, but in my experience it keeps the already interested up to date. What we need to do is bring in people to the growing scene. People that may have different ideas, and allow for more collaboration in a promising space.

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