Say Chicago For New Tech Cool

Chicago, Chicago that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago I’ll show you around – I love it
Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago

Chicago White Sox are the world champions, the Cubbies are doing well, and guess what tech is blooming in the middle of the country. Chicago’s Crains chronicles good things happening to 37Signals, Feed Burner, Hostway and a bunch of other start-ups. Most have made it happen without venture capital (not FeedBurner) and I am most impressed with TicketsNow.

Mike Domek has built, a Crystal Lake-based online ticket vendor, to $142 million in annual sales without outside investors. Mr. Domek expects sales to hit $250 million in 2006.

Hostway is another big winner – had $100 million in sales in 2005…. and growing. What about 37Signals… we know their story all too well. I think it is proof, that in our post broadband world, good ideas can not only survive but thrive anywhere on the planet. Net Vibes, and scores of other start-ups around the world should take note. The other night I met the Dooce crew and they have built a sizeable business in Salt Lake City, Utah. The reminded of my story, Escape From Silicon Valley.

More than ever, launching a business today is all about connections—starting with broadband connections. In the past 24 months, there’s been a quiet surge in the geographic spread of high-speed Internet networks, and that has dramatic implications for economic development, jobs, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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