Why should you move to Iowa to create a startup?

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A few weeks ago I met up with several Iowans for bbq and drinks at Stubbs in Austin. Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, asked us a question:

What are the three things the Des Moines startup community needs most?

Great question and one with a ton of answers. The one that immediately came to my mind was:

More compelling reasons for people to move to Iowa and start companies.

If you’re reading this post, the chances are you already love living in Iowa. If you didn’t love living here you would just pack up and leave. You’d probably pick a place with mountains like Boulder and the spectacular scenery and recreational options that come with them. Or you’d pick a place with great weather and the music/sports/food culture of Austin. Maybe you’d go for density and the sheer multitude of opportunities available in a place like New York City or Boston. Or, you’d just cut with any pretense about location not being a factor in building startups and head to Silicon Valley.

Lots of Iowans have made the choice to leave and have been successful elsewhere. A few of them (like these dudes) have made a remarkable impact on technology.

I think we've done a good job in the past several years, as a community, to demystify the idea of starting a company in Iowa in the minds of those who are already here. We now regularly share the success stories of our community and we're staring to share the failure stories, too. We seem to see more and more new grads (and even not-yet-grads) starting their own companies instead of taking the traditional path.

So what are the reasons to move here to start your company? Remember, the first rule on this blog is you can’t say “quality of life”.

I have several thoughts but, honestly, I don’t have the answer. We certainly can’t do anything to change the climate (well anything constructive anyway) or the topography. Can we manufacture compelling reasons to get people to move here to start? I think so.

Leave your thoughts on the reasons to move here to start your company below and I'll share mine in a future post.

Geoff Wood has been helping tell the story of the Iowa startup community since 2009. In addition to writing here daily, he hosts a weekly podcast, speaks at conferences and organizes several events in the community.

Photo Credit: Skyline photo via wadecouch on Flickr