The Atlantic Is Headed to the Upper Midwest And We Need Your Help

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We're coming to the upper midwest to check out the startup scene in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.

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In two weeks, Sarah Rich and I are hitting the road for Start-Up Nation, our annual trek to a region of the country to check out its start-up businesses and culture. Last year, we burned rubber across the south, racing from Washington DC all the way to Shreveport before concluding our trip in New Orleans. Along the way, we were helped by entrepreneurs, development groups, and startup mentors. They helped us dig into what makes a place tick from the local coffeeshop where everyone meets up to discuss deals to the incubators where promising ideas can grow up.

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This year, we're starting the trip in Chicago and finishing up in Pittsburgh. Call it a Rust Belt Tour, if that's not a pejorative. If you're starting a business along this route (or even near it), we want to hear from you. While we're primarily interested in tech (very broadly construed), interesting entrepreneurs of all types should feel free to get in touch.

And stay tuned because we're working on putting together a few events, so that we can meet as many people as possible. 

This year, we want to build maps of the startup scene in each city we visit. That means we want to map not just where startups have their offices, but also where they get coffees and beers and meetings and employees and money. I've created a map here -- http://goo.gl/maps/yYvx6 -- and we're planning on adding these kinds of details as we drive along. But note that I've made that map editable by anyone. So, add your business, add your friend's company, add the tech incubator that your city set up.

Or, as always, you can get in touch via Twitter and email. Feel free to tweet at @alexismadrigal or @sarahrich or to email me at amadrigal[at]theatlantic.com. We'll be using the hashtag #startupnation2012.

P.S. Like last year, we want food recommendations, too. We love to eat.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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