11 Top Tech Cities In The Midwest

Editor's note: Join NASA, Hyperloop & Hololens to explore the future of tech at the Compute Midwest conference - happening November 2nd in Kansas City.

It's evident that Silicon Valley and New York remain hotspots for technology and startups, but these Midwestern cities are flipping the script and building tech empires of their own.

Learn more about these 11 cities building tech futures, including average salaries & rent data (provided by Indeed.com & Expatistan)

Chicago, IL.

Credit: Wikipedia

Among the most populous cities in America, Chicago has the second largest growth in tech jobs, beating Silicon Valley by five percent.

In total, it’s the fifth largest tech market in the country, creating a jaw-dropping 40,000 new jobs in IT since 2011.

Grubhub, Groupon, Basecamp are some great tech success stories that serve as an example of what's possible in the windy city.

Average salary for Software Developer

$113,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$1,410


Kansas City,MO

Credit: EECKC

Chosen as the first city to have access to Google Fiber’s gigabit Internet, Kansas City is now a destination for tech startups and giants alike.

Garmin, Sprint and other tech companies are based here, as well as well as top startups like ShotTracker, EyeVerify and C2FO.

To build on the momentum of Google Fiber, Kansas City added a smart city initiative to its innovation strategy.

It's also home to Compute Midwest, which is one of the world's top tech conferences according to Inc.

Average salary for Software Developer

$87,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$887

Indianapolis, IN

Credit: InsideIndianaBusiness.com

Indianapolis is quickly becoming a hub for young tech professionals thanks to its three major companies in Eli Lilly and Co., Anthem Inc. and Angie’s List.

But the major mover in Indy is Salesforce, the cloud-based sales software that plans to add 800 more jobs over the next five years.

Nearby universities like Purdue Indiana University help to cultivate talent while the low cost of living and a rejuvenated downtown area helps to keep them.

Average salary for Software Developer

$81,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$987

Columbus, OH

Credit: ColumbusOH.About.com

Columbus is churning out startups like no other city outside of Silicon Valley, and investors are taking note.

Rev1 Ventures just announced a $22 million to invest in Columbus tech startups, the largest seed-stage funding in the city’s history.

Nearby incubator Drive Capital boasts a $250 million fund they pour into the city’s startups as well, with 15 companies pulling in $94 million in 2014.

Fast-growing CoverMyMeds is one of the startups helping to put Columbus on the map for startups & tech.

Average salary for Software Developer

$91,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$1,041


Detroit, MI

Credit DowntownDetroit.org

The Motor City is quickly becoming one of the most exciting cities for tech in the country.

Top auto companies like Ford and GM are now working on the next generation of transportation: driverless cars. Tech titans like Twitter and Amazon have also set up offices in Detroit.

Last year, Amazon announced a new technology hub in the area to bring even more jobs to the city.

Average salary for Software Developer

$98,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$896

Milwaukee, WI

Credit: Wikipedia

The city of beer and cheese is quietly building momentum as one of the more innovative cities in not just the Midwest, but the whole world.

It’s done this with a huge initiative to make Milwaukee a leader in technology. Water Council, a local nonprofit, works to align fresh water-related industries with research communities to bring water to areas in which it’s scarce.

The city is now home to more than 150 water-related companies and startups and attracting tech talent to help change the world.

Average salary for Software Developer

$81,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$987


Omaha, NE

Credit: CityMatch.org

Has Warren Buffet's mere presence helped Omaha become one of the leading cities for tech? His multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway is headquartered here.

Omaha also boasts Fortune 500 companies like Conagra and Union Pacific, which necessitate tech workers in large quantities. That, combined with the city's ranking as the best city to work in tech by SmartAsset make it a great attraction for young and talented people in the field.

Average salary for Software Developer

$74,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$1,133


Cleveland, OH

Credit: Housely.com

Named by Popular Mechanics as one of the best startup cities in America, Cleveland has crafted a great environment for small companies over the years.

The city nurtured tech companies by developing a central hub providing space and resources for entrepreneurs along with a health-tech corridor to house the companies coming out of the booming industry like BioEnterprise.

Average salary for Software Developer

$84,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$1,026


St. Louis, MO

Credit: Wikipedia

Judging by the amount of capital flowing into the gateway city, St. Louis is the place to start a tech company right now. In 2014 investors put about $70 million in tech startups, an increase of more than 1,200 percent from the previous year.

The startup revolution in the city is driven by a mass migration of young people with the under-30 population growing by more than 30 percent year over year.

Average salary for Software Developer

$95,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$917



Cincinnati, OH

Credit: MunichCincinnati.org

The third city from Ohio on this list, Cincinnati proves that the Buckeye state is almost as potent as California when it comes to tech.

This means its staying power rests in the hands of its startup community rather than tech giants.... and it’s working.

Home to some of the top accelerator programs in the U.S. like The Brandery, UpTech and Ocean, Cincy was one of the most successful cities in the country this year for startups with a 74 percent hike in growth.

Average salary for Software Developer

$89,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$999


Minneapolis, MN

Credit: Minneapolis.org

Boasting more than 60 thousand of job openings in the industry, Minneapolis is one of the best spots in the country to find tech work. Venture capitalist have taken notice, flooding $200 million into companies five years old or younger in 2014.

With great starting salaries and affordable living, the area is drawing in creative, young employees companies to work for innovators like 3D printer Makerbot.

Average salary for Software Developer

$84,000

Average rent for 900-square-foot apartment

$1,122



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