I saw a post today about Minnesota not being supportive enough for entrepreneurs and that’s why many are leaving to ‘startup hubs’ (Silicon Valley, New York, etc…). It’s something I hear quite often and in fact have seen friends and people I know in the startup scene take off too other places in pursuit of a ‘more welcoming’ startup community full of resources, money (lots of it too) and support.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve never thought about heading to the west coast or even the east but they were nothing more than thoughts. My heart is in the Twin Cities and I absolutely love Minnesota. In fact, when I’ve visited other startup communities/Conferences (Launch Festival, Celebrate Co, Colorado) I quite often tell people that Minnesota is the best place to launch a startup. Now obviously I’m bias and I may be exaggerating but I wholeheartedly believe Minnesota is a state of opportunity and has a ton too offer (it’s no wonder we’ve been voted the best place to live!). Startups are a marathon, not a sprint. So what you do outside of your startup is just as important; family, friends, social life, food, housing, environment, etc…
Getting back to topic, I don’t believe that where you start your business is going to determine wether you succeed or fail. There’s entrepreneurs popping out from all over the US and even the world. Minnesota is no different and on the rise; it has a growing and thriving startup community. Clay Collins, has become a local startup-celebrity in the Twin Cities with his startup LeadPages (which is growing rapidly) and he’s not the only one: Chad Halvorson with WhenIWork, Justin Kaufenberg and Carson Kipfer with Sport Ngin and Aaron Kardell with HomeSpotter are all well known entrepreneurs in the cities and are doing some awesome stuff. Also Chip Pearson and co. with Jamf Software and Code42 are all well known startups that have gone on to become well established companies. Not to mention the best site for all tech, entrepreneurship and startup related news for Minnesota: Tech.MN by Jeff Pesek and Mike who do a tremendous amount for the state of Minnesota. Plus there’s plenty of others making noise and I believe this is just the beginning and there’s much more to come.
A startup community doesn’t happen overnight just like an overnight success takes years in the making. We, as a community have to be in it for the long run, then and only then can we become a ‘startup hub’ for all the other nay-sayers. In the end, your hustle and determination is what’s going determine wether your startup succeeds or fails. Keep at it and prove the doubters wrong.