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When a Company Invests in an Underdog City

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When a Company Invests in an Underdog City

The Atlantic,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Tech startups like Bitwise Industries are turning underdog cities into attractive, tech-enabled cities of the future.

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Bitwise Industries is a lively tech startup in Fresno, California – an unlikely place for new tech businesses, considering that global digital transformation left the city behind. Set in the middle of California’s poor and sprawling Central Valley farm region, Fresno needed a shot in the arm. Bitwise’s dedication to the city is aiding its revitalization, turning an underdog city into one that’s economically and culturally vibrant. The company wants to duplicate that success in other underdog cities. Atlantic magazine journalist James Fallows profiles Bitwise and its expansion to Toledo, Ohio.



Tech startups like Bitwise Industries help underdog cities like Fresno, California make a comeback.

Bitwise runs tech centers and incubators for start-ups and forges training partnerships with local schools. The company opened its first office in Fresno, in the heart of California’s farm-dense but financially struggling Central Valley. Companies like Bitwise bolstered Fresn0’s recent financial and cultural revival by extending the opportunities that come with technological skills to people who don’t always have access to learning those skills.

America has underdog cities in every region; smaller cities with a lot to offer, but whose residents feel progress bypassed their towns. 

As Bitwise expands, it looks to other underdog cities.

Bitwise raised $27 million in 2019 and opened centers in Oakland, Merced and Bakersfield, underdog cities in California. Now, with...

About the Author

Atlantic magazine writer James Fallows co-authored Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America with his wife, journalist Deborah Fallows. 

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