J. Brian Anderson

technology. venture. learning. together.

-7- Midwest startup qualities

5. Humility - It’s that old fashion Midwest sense of humility that keeps people grounded.  Sure many of the start-ups have been written about and featured in national press BUT that doesn’t make a successful venture or entrepreneur.  The press and hype machine tends not to affect Midwest entrepreneurs.

4. Capital Efficiency - Many entrepreneurs know they aren’t going to raise/invest an $XX,000,0000 USD (re: Color [for better or worse]), so they tend to acquire customers quickly to float product and advance company development.  I love the focus on getting customers on board - dare I say many Midwest start-ups were ‘lean’ before it became a book.  (which is still great, if you live underneath a rock and don’t know here —-::Lean Startup link::)

3. Trustworthiness - The start-up community is small enough that no one can afford to jerk each other around whether it’s capital, hiring or competition.  We all tend to work well and even better together.  Capital providers share deal flow and entrepreneurs tend to share ideas and strategy.  Deals get done with a handshake.

2. Work Ethic - How hard are Midwest entrepreneurs working? VERY. We don’t have a huge teams to make things happen, it’s up to us to solve our own problems.  There is no big recruit or talented employee who’s going to ‘save’ the company - it’s just the elbow grease and sleepless nights that tend to get it done.

1. ACCESS - Everyone I know in the Midwest startup scene - Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus etc is available.  It’s a realistic belief that you can get access to almost anyone you want in the Midwest because, you likely have a pretty close connection to them (even if you don’t know it).  People move mountains to make important connections out here —- there are very few people whom you can not reach.

That’s my list of the top 5 Midwest entrepreneurial qualities, what are yours?  Leave a reply or comment and let me know what you think, agree/or disagree.


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