Brain Belt vs Silicon Prairie

Do you live in the Brain Belt?

I’ve heard it called Silicon Prarie before, but I hadn’t heard of the Brain Belt. Back when I worked in Green Bay WI, we used to call it the Silicon Tundra. They of coarse are all just made up names to talk about the tech boom that is happening in the midwest.

Just in Des Moines, we have some pretty impressive tech companies. My current employer LightEdge Solutions is head quartered here. We’re the first company to tie Microsoft’s OCS messaging system to a Broadsoft VoIP platform for hosted consumption.

But we’re far from the only guys doing cool stuff around here…

BitMethod – iPhone apps and more.

Dwolla – Web + Dollar = Dwolla. Think ridiculously cheap paypal.

And then you have other things such as Google building an impressive data center in Council Bluffs Iowa. Microsoft just announced a new data center in the greater Des Moines area.

So what’s the big attraction to the midwest?

Well, besides being incredibly good looking, we’re hard working and pretty freaking smart as well. Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have been ranked as having some of the top schools in the nation for decades. That doesn’t happen by accident.

The cost of living in the midwest is also a lot lower than our counterparts on the coasts. I did a quick survery using CNN Money for the cost of living for Des Moines vs San Fran and Queens NY. Here are the results if I made say $75,000 in Des Moines Iowa.

Not only is the cost of living cheaper, we’ve been voted one of the top 100 places to live, best place to raise a family, have the best drinking water, and quite simply the Best Places for Business and Careers.

Its about time we got some respect yo!

Smart, hardworking employees living in places that are quite simply, nice.

Should it be a surprise to anyone that tech is quickly moving forward in a place that has been known to the rest of the country as “fly over” country?

Well, not only are we going to continue to be the Grain Belt of the world, we’re also going to be known as the Brain Belt. Though I still prefer Silicon Prairie. It seems to make a lot more fun of those San Francisco companies.

Matt Patterson avatar
About Matt Patterson
Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.