Like a lot of tech entrepreneurs in the Midwest, I get asked a lot why my startup, ABODO, isn’t in Silicon Valley. I hear it even more after the release of reports likethis one from the Kauffman Institute, which ranked the state of Wisconsin dead last of all large states in both startup activity and startup density, and second-to-last in annual rate of new entrepreneurs. Why Madison? people ask. Do you just really like the snow?
The truth is, I hate the snow. And yet I started ABODO in Madison, and I’ve kept it here, even as the company has grown from a team of three (myself and cofounders Chad Aldous and Adam Olien) to a company of 28 that just announced the results of its Series A funding round. We’re not alone, either — to hear Drive Capital’s Chris Olsen tell it, the Midwest will have more startups than Silicon Valley in five years.