Rural tech startups see success across the US | TechCrunch

While tech startups have become synonymous with urban areas that offer improved access to talent, resources and infrastructure, the reality is that rural areas are also home to startups. This may come as a surprise to those who have moved away from rural areas specifically to find a job in the tech industry, which accounts for more than 6.7 million jobs in the United States alone.

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And the advantages to having your tech startup based in a rural area? Plenty. Young was full of praise, citing “low cost of living, no traffic, elbow room, and easy access to the outdoors.” In a similar vein, Langer talked about how Red Wing is a great place for those with a love of the outdoors, its close proximity to both Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as only being 45 minutes away from the nearest airport. “Red Wing is the perfect mix of small town and big city,” Langer said. “It’s a wonderful place to raise children. It’s got everything.” An important factor Levy brought up was access to quality education. The Gorge has access to quality schools and “employees for a high-tech company want the best schools for their kids.”

Source: Rural tech startups see success across the US | TechCrunch

In my 2015 eBook Last Rush Hour: The Decentralization of Knowledge Work in the Twenty-First Century, I discuss these and other advantages less populated regions offer in terms of housing affordability, enhanced quality of life and the end of stressful, time sucking commutes across congested metro areas. The growth of the knowledge and information-based economy makes location far less relevant — unlike during the Industrial Age when work was centralized in downtown metro areas and suburban office parks.

Key to this reverse Industrial Age migration to what author Jack Lessinger termed Penturbia in his 1991 book of the same name is the modernization and expansion of fiber to the premise telecommunications infrastructure to ensure all areas have access to advanced services. It is as critical to the 21st century as roads and highways were to the 20th.

New economic strategy for Maine: Lure workers, business will follow — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

PORTLAND, Maine — A new nonprofit has an idea for getting more companies, large and small, to locate in Maine: Don’t try for the whole company.On Monday, the group Work in Place will officially launch in Portland, during the third annual Maine Startup and Create Week, with plans to host a national conference in Maine’s largest city next spring to bring location-independent workers together.As they learn more about people who have a boss but not necessarily a fixed office, they want to provide a professional network and support, too.“We’re not evangelizing remote work, and we don’t need to at this point in time — it’s already happening,” said Misty McLaughlin, who co-founded the group with her husband, Michael Erard.The group aims to host events centered on that growing segment of the workforce, in part to help policymakers and economic development officials consider new approaches in a far-flung place such as Maine, which Erard wrote should be “low-hanging fruit.”

Source: New economic strategy for Maine: Lure workers, business will follow — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

More evidence the decentralization of knowledge work and its dispersal across the United States is starting to gain momentum.

It’s no wonder knowledge workers are seeking alternatives to costly, congested metro areas. There’s really no need to work in them now that information and communications technology has matured to the point that knowledge work can be performed independent of location.

To facilitate this megashift in where people work and live, there is an essential infrastructure component that’s needed, especially in poorly connected states like Maine: Universal, affordable fiber to the premise (FTTP) telecommunications infrastructure.