Beloit, Wisconsin – A decaying rustic town that once was home to paper making machines and diesel engines factories may have a savior that will turn the town around.
Diane Hendricks is a Wisconsin born resident that believes this town could be the next big thing for startups, and as the second richest women in the US, she has a lot of potential to make this dream come true. “I see old buildings, and I see an opportunity for putting things in them,” says Ms. Hendricks, 70.
She has attracted a number of startups and has encouraged them to settle their businesses in the old foundry building in town, with the help of Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, who personally called the co-founders on her behalf.
Like many Midwest towns, Beloit has suffered in recent years due to the decline of industries which provided much needed work, such as automotive jobs, which heavily supported the local economy. While towns like these and many others across the midwest have deteriorated, there future may be on a more positive path thanks to individuals like Ms. Hendricks and others that see great potential in the midwest as a haven for startups.
Other areas of Wisconsin have also gained attention from startup. Madison was recently highlighted as a major up and coming city within the startup scene along with Cleveland, Ohio. “Start-up culture began in the garages of Silicon Valley, but has spread nationally,” says Linda Moore, CEO of TechNet, a bipartisan network of tech executives. “The best, most productive way to create jobs is to foster start-ups in those regions.”
Despite the difficulties felt by towns and cities across midwest America, there are still plenty of opportunities to turn their luck around. With the support of the right people and the right resources the midwest could easily become the next location to provide the world with revolutionary ideas.