Beta.MN – the folks behind Twin Cities Startup Week – are no strangers to celebrating tech in the Midwest. In fact, it’s why they exist.

In late January, on a day that barely saw above -25 degrees F, we supported Beta in hosting a networking event to help introduce Twin Cities-based startup founders to media and facilitate a panel discussion on the current state of Minnesota tech. Despite the literal subzero temperatures, more than 200 founders and media came. What can we say – in Minnesota, we’re kept warm by our fire for business.

Our most important takeaway from the event is how important storytelling is for startups. One of the panelists said: “Hope is not a strategy. If you’re going to raise money in the Midwest, you have to bootstrap it.” Everyone in the audience clapped and nodded, knowing all too well how hard it is to get investor or media attention, and how difficult it can be to talk about how great our tech is when we come from a region that’s as humble as it is cold.

These founders braved unfathomable temperatures to join together and celebrate each other. Even if investors and media are just now starting to turn their heads from the coasts, we’ve known since the very beginning that these innovation stories deserve to be told.

Hotwire’s Minneapolis team has partnered with Beta to put cohort and alumni startup founders in front of the right media who can tell their stories. We’re excited to continue supporting Beta’s mission to shine a spotlight on tech innovation in the Twin Cities.