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Meet the 20 Budding 'Micropolitan' Areas For Tech Industry


"Investors just need to know where to look."

Now that broadband Internet is making its way into rural, previously disconnected towns, tech opportunities and innovations are beginning to creep out of the Silicon Valley and into these new, burgeoning markets.

Business Insider collected U.S. Census information analyzing factors that make traditionally unsuspecting areas ripe for technological advancement and named 20 of them as the next 'micropolitan areas':

  • Craighead County, AR
  • Fayette County, GA
  • Story County, IA
  • Pottawattamie County, IA
  • Ascension Parish, LA
  • Calvert County, MD
  • Cecil County, MD
  • Saline County, AR
  • Daviess County, KY
  • Lafourche Parish, LA
  • Platte County, MO
  • Madison County, MS
  • Gallatin County, MT
  • Comanche County, OK
  • Roanoke County, VA
  • Ozaukee County, WI
  • Buchanan County, MO
  • Henderson County, NC
  • Grafton County, NH
  • Monongalia County, WV

Business Insider notes that while companies are sending millions overseas to reach newer technological markets, they aren't looking at home, where "15 years into the Internet Revolution, there are still areas of this country that have yet to fully realize the promise of a technology-based economy."

To come up with this list, Business Insider assessed areas with "high level of broadband accessibility, a sizable workforce (in relative terms), a vibrant local economy, and the presence of a small college or university." It observes that ever since computer science or computer engineering became a hot career, advancements in the field has students doing things like creating apps for assignments. But they don't really do anything with the products they create:

Science and technology programs at these schools aren’t structured to provide institutional help in finding investors or even teach tech students how to market their great ideas.

But the fact is that it’s easier to teach a computer engineer how to become a marketer than it is to teach a marketer how to become a computer engineer.  All of these dormant apps and technology projects represent a huge untapped market of intellectual property.  Investors just need to know where to look.

This is where Business Insider's analysis comes in, noting that the towns on the list already have unemployment at below the national average by up to 5 points.

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