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It Pays to be Different in Peoria

According to Global Accelerator Network (GAN), it pays to be different when building up your company. While places like Silicon Valley and San Francisco are known for the tech startup ecosystem, GAN argues that starting your company in a “new” startup ecosystem *cough cough Peoria!* may give you an edge that the big cities can’t compete with. They listed these five inherent traits that entrepreneurs are already leveraging in less established tech startup ecosystems:

1. They have a unique perspective.
If you’re from the community where you’re launching your startup, you’ll have perspectives about your local market that can’t be bought. For instance, just imagine all of the products you could create with local natural resources like Asian Carp that people outside the region would never think of. You will be able to explain to prospective investors exactly why your product will succeed in its local market.

2. You can easily earn respect.
Peoria has a close-knit startup community where you can easily network with local startups and investors. KeyStart and The Nest are just a few of the local resources for meeting other entrepreneurs and investors. In an emerging startup community like Peoria, word of your work can spread quickly.

3. You already stand out.
Because your market is smaller and less saturated, you’ll more easily be able to turn heads than if you were in Silicon Valley or London. The potential to do something in your community that has never been done before is huge.

4. You have fans.
Small communities love to rally around their own companies because they like to contribute to their community. When SolidStays launched the first Kickstarter campaign at 1 Million Cups, they achieved 10% of their campaign goal within the first day. This was in part due to sharing their product and campaign goals on social media. Everyone wanted to support a Peoria product and a Peoria entrepreneur.

5. You’re an attractive investment.
Because your valuation isn’t inflated the way others are in places like San Francisco and London, you’re an easier investment ask. GAN reports company valuations of $9-10M in more well-known startup cities, and an average valuation of just $3.5M in the United States as a whole. This isn’t because companies outside large cities are “lesser than,” it’s because it’s cheaper to build your companies where the cost of doing business is low.

Check out GAN’s full explanation here.

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