Photo by Eva Darron on Unsplash

Welcome to Flyover Future, the newly launched newsletter celebrating the people, institutions and companies driving innovation in Flyover Country.

We all know innovation is essential for economic and civic growth in the 21st century. For cities to thrive, they must build and foster strong innovation ecosystems of businesses, universities, cultural institutions and smart government that are the key to attracting the capital and talent that drive growth.

Breakthrough devices, services, applications, medical therapies, smart materials, transportation, artificial intelligence, and automation of all kinds are powering innovation in our society. And emerging businesses, where the bulk of new jobs and growth are created, evolve from these innovation ecosystems. Innovation attracts talent. And with innovation and talent, capital follows.

The great news is that cities and communities in the flyover heartland are aggressively developing and growing their innovation ecosystems. In Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee, among others, communities are rallying around new businesses and entrepreneurs. Cities in Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina and Pennsylvania are creating ecosystems that are attracting the sought after talent and capital so fundamental to growth and quality of life.

The major Flyover Universities are fueling their engineering departments and expanding their bioscience research, adding horsepower to their tech transfer offices. Everywhere you look, Flyover Country is fast approaching mach 1. And as coastal cities become increasingly unaffordable, this is the ideal time to start a business, work or invest in flyover country.

The crew at Flyover Future wants to celebrate and promote the substantial benefits of living and working in flyover country that all of us value: affordable housing, commutes measured in minutes not hours, and opportunities to make an impact in our communities and work with talented, forward-thinking people. And of course, the chance to enjoy a vibe that is decidedly not New York, LA or San Francisco.

Flyover Future is our celebration of the innovation taking place in flyover country and our support for the people and institutions driving it. Every day of the week, our newsletter will give you a glimpse into the many inspiring efforts going on all around us to foster and accelerate innovation. Our flight plan is designed to inspire you and help you learn a bit about the players in our ecosystems. We believe that for each of us to thrive, all of us must thrive. We need to embrace the diversity and the opportunities that abound in Flyover Country.

Meet the team

Flyover Future Staff: Toni Bowers (managing editor), Tom Cottingham (CEO), Jon Pyles (President)

We love start-ups and we love Flyover Country!

We–Toni, Tom and Jon–have been involved in start-ups and early-stage companies all of our working lives. Working together since 1989, we have served as founders or key employees in editorial, marketing, fundraising and executive management and put together great teams that built three highly-successful tech-publishing businesses that still exist today.

We understand what it means to build a company, to raise money from angel and institutional investors and create a successful exit. We also know what it’s like to fail, get up and try again. Building these companies has been the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences we’ve ever had. 

Over the years, we have worked closely with companies in Silicon Valley, NY, Seattle, Chicago and, of course, our hometown of Louisville. We’ve launched brand extensions in Western Europe and have had the opportunity to observe how innovation ecosystems operate, and how vital they are to economic growth. We have participated in three of the biggest waves to hit technology in the past decades (PCs, networking and the web). We know how amazing companies are built from scratch and how established players can quickly lose their dominance. 

Through the years, we’ve anticipated real innovation, and the capital to fund it, to emerge from what we affectionately call “flyover country.” Today, we believe we are at an inflection point. More and more capital investors and more and more talent are seeing the advantages of building a business in the heartland. And we are now seeing tons of world-changing innovation happening all over FOC–huge upsides for those who invest in it. 

As a result, we are focusing our energies on our new publication–Flyover Future. Each weekday we publish stories that we hope will inspire you and in some way help you make connections into the amazing entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that is thriving in the often-ignored area between the coasts.

Hop on board and join us as we navigate through the exciting cities, universities and companies that are creating our future. We hope that you will share with us your love of FOC and the amazing stories that you encounter.

Contact Us

Feel free to reach out and connect to our team to get to know us, tell us your stories, share ideas and foster future partnerships. Here’s how to reach us!

Toni Bowers
Title: Managing Editor

Tom Cottingham
Title: CEO and Partner

Jon Pyles
Title: President and Partner