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You Don't Need to Leave Your Hometown to Start a Great Business

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By Maggie Ginsberg

Amy Lombard

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Nobody really wanted to fund us," recalls Alex Kubicek, a soft-spoken Midwesterner with a shrewd scientific mind.

He's thinking back to 2013. He was 25 and had already banked dual degrees in physics and electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, as well as a master's in atmospheric science from top-tier UW–Madison. Then he'd created a hyperlocal weather observation company called Understory and landed it in the first-ever cohort of an accelerator in his hometown of Madison, which in turn sent him off on nearly a year's worth of pitching to Wisconsin-based investors. But nobody put in money.

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