New York, yeah. Silicon Valley, of course. But Greenville? Cleveland? Baltimore? These cities are famous for many things. Their lively tech scenes aren’t one of them. Yet as we’ve revealed in a series of articles over the past few months, some of the most innovative businesses and ideas are springing up in the least likely places. The reasons for the shift are complex and differ from one city to the next, but in many cases, they boil down to this: The Internet has lifted the cost and geographic barriers of starting a business. That, combined with the proliferation of local incubators and other support networks, has freed entrepreneurs all over the country to innovate, and take risks, without losing their shirt. Barriers remain: Talent still hugs the coasts and funding can be woefully hard to nab, even for the most dogged entrepreneurs. But the momentum persists. Who knows? Maybe the next Facebook will emerge from Boise, Idaho, or Grand Rapids, Michigan. Here, we zero in on thriving tech communities in 15 places you’d never think to look.
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