Midwestern cities connect manufacturing past with tomorrow's next big tech invention


Next City looks at how Midwestern cities are trying to revive manufacturing in the startup economy under the catchy title "Cleveland Wants to Make Sure the Next Wright Brothers Come From the Rust Belt." Next City is a nonprofit organization providing daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world.

The article is written by Lee Chilcote, managing editor of Fresh Water, Soapbox's sister publication in Cleveland, and focuses on emerging "hardware" startup scenes in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown. Although Cincinnati isn't mentioned, the manufacturing startup ecosystem here — embodied at First Batch and Hamilton Mill, among other local business backers — certainly fits the changing dynamic the article describes.

"Hardware startups ... are more viable than ever thanks to evolving prototyping technology and, in many places, a renewed emphasis on advanced manufacturing," Chilcote writes. "While software's promised land has long been Silicon Valley, the Rust Belt is fast becoming a land of milk and honey — and plasma — for hardware. In cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, there is already an infrastructure for affordable manufacturing in place. Plenty of institutional partners like NASA in Cleveland are eager to support new entrepreneurs."

Read the full Next City article here.
 
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