The $3.5 trillion infrastructure and spending bill pending in Congress is touted as “the biggest economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution.” Perhaps no one is watching more keenly than legacy companies in the Heartland. Anticipating both unprecedented technological advancement and unprecedented federal investment in industrial regions, Midwest manufacturers, builders, and developers are preparing to adapt.

As a firm that invests in emerging technologies meant for those Midwest businesses, Heartland Ventures believes it is important to maintain a historical perspective on how innovation can transform an economy. What would it mean if we are on the precipice of an economic revolution?

I was born at the Ohio State Medical Center and spent the first 18 years of my life within 15 miles of that hospital. The Midwest is an incredible place to grow up, but it was generally accepted that you had to get out — to New York, LA, San Francisco — if you wanted any real opportunity to be successful. Geographic FOMO. This “success” was never really defined, but it was clear that many people thought the coastal metropolises were somehow superior to a city like Columbus.

I now know I was wrong, and yet I fear the perceived…

Hannah Wexner

Associate Director Community Development Heartland Ventures

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