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Economy

The Extreme Geographic Inequality of High-Tech Venture Capital

The rest aren’t rising, and spatial inequality is getting worse.
A hackathon in San Francisco, the capital of venture capital.
A hackathon in San Francisco, the capital of venture capital.Gabrielle Lurie/Reuters

Last month a cadre of Silicon Valley venture capitalists took a much-ballyhooed tour of the Rust Belt. As the New York Times glowingly reported, this “Comeback Cities Tour” featured stops in Detroit, Flint, Akron, Youngstown and South Bend. And of course, Pittsburgh has been lauded for its tech-based revitalization powered by its burgeoning robotics and self-driving vehicle prowess.

But to what extent is the Rust Belt really rising? Are venture capitalists really shifting their investments from overly expensive, overly crowded Silicon Valley? Do we see any significant changes the geography of venture capital investment?