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Google tries to fuel innovation outside of Silicon Valley with new Tech Hub network

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Google(s goog) is looking to cultivate innovation in some of the more obscure tech markets in the North America. It announced on Wednesday a program that would expand Google’s community ties and outreach in seven large tech hub co-working facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Chicago, Denver and Waterloo, Canada, aren’t exactly tech backwaters, but they aren’t Silicon Valley, San Francisco or New York City either. In some cases — such as Motorola’s hometown Chicago — Google already has a major presence in these cities. But the idea is for Google to have a more direct involvement in the working facilities, accelerators and incubators that are seeding these cities’ nascent startup scenes.

From a post on Google’s official blog:

We started Google for Entrepreneurs to help foster entrepreneurship in communities around the world. Through our work in more than 100 countries, we’ve been incredibly impressed with the catalyzing impact that tech hubs have had: helping startups grow, and creating jobs in local communities in the process. So today we’re announcing a Tech Hub Network with seven partners, initially located in North America. 1871 (Chicago), American Underground (Durham), Coco (Minneapolis), Communitech (Waterloo), Galvanize (Denver), Grand Circus (Detroit) and Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville) are all top notch spaces fueling entrepreneurship. We believe these hubs have pioneered a new approach to launching a business, and it’s our mission to help support them.

Each Tech Hub will become an official Google partner, receiving financial support from the company and an on-site Google employee, who will act as liason between the search giant and the local tech community. Though Google didn’t give any details on what level of financial contribution it would provide to these hubs, it did say it would host events and actively work with each hub’s startups on new projects and product development.

Google also hinted that it might take on an incubator or angel funding role in those cities, saying it would help entrepreneurs in these seven cities launch and grow their companies.

6 Responses to “Google tries to fuel innovation outside of Silicon Valley with new Tech Hub network”

  1. Durham, North Carolina was chosen as a Google Entrepreneurial Hub. Alongside Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn., and Waterloo, Ontario, the Durham tech hub is expected to get financial support from the company, access to Google products, as well as workshop opportunities.

    Folks around the Triangle are chest-beating over there selection by Google as another step in establishing the Triangle as a future center for tech startups that will develop internal and attract external startups and entrepreneurs.

    While it is nice to be noticed by Google, please understand that Google’s purpose is self-serving (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.)

    Google is seeking to deepen its community ties, to give its teams and partners physical space for outreach and events, and to serve as platform for other Google teams to roll out products and products with startups, according to information from the company. The hub will also have a local relationship manager, called a “Googler,” who will serve as the primary contact for the company. Hub leaders will talk quarterly, and will meet once a year in person to share best practices.

    Google also recruits local engineering talent to take back to Mountain View – or elsewhere.

    On balance, it is a good thing to be recognized by Google.

    In July, 2013, the New York Times ran an opinion piece – “The Decline of North Carolina” –

    Read this editorial. Then reread this editorial. Then tell me why an entrepreneur would want to move to North Carolina.

    Realizing that you have enough talent or potential for innovation to have a major technology company establish an immigration office in your town is fine.

    But, thinking that North Carolina will be an entrepreneurial hub while the present climate exists, is truly delusional.

    Read the editorial. Then reread it.

    Then realize what must be done to make the Triangle attractive to entrepreneurs . . . and others.

  2. Patrick Cummings

    Wish they would come to Williamsport, Pa. Small rural town but the software developers and IT folks which the local colleges are churning out here are wicked. They immediately go to top companies and gov’t jobs. Amazing talent.