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A small town in the county of Saint Louis in Minnesota, Ely only has a population of 3,460, so you will have plenty of opportunities to get to make new friends either in a cafe, a bar or in a coworking venue where the tech savvy souls are collaborating. Perched on the Vermilion Iron Range, Ely was home to numerous iron ore mines but today it's known for being the gateway to the Boundry Waters Canoe Area Wilderness where adrenalin junkies hang out, the International Wolf Center and the North American Bear Center. From being the home of fur traders, the town was inundated with gold diggers during the Lake Vermillion gold rush in 1865 when the town exploded in numbers. Sadly not much gold was found, but it was iron ore that hid beneath the ground.

Ely is no tech hub per se, but the Minnesota "Twin cities" region is often ranked as the best entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Midwest that has seen a 40% increase in startup investments between the years of 2016 and 2017. The startup scene is one that is collaborative and connected with plenty of opportunities for newbies to meet likeminded souls via events and organizations. The Twin Cities Startup Week has become the second largest in the country with an impressive collection of tech savvy gurus gathering. Home to 18 Fortune 500 companies; all but one of them grew in Minnesota organically which proves that the state builds giant and successful corporations.

Coworking venues opening up are creating one more space where Minnesotans can be comfy sprouting off about their own stories and encouraging the startup of new ones. Living and working in Ely is a dream lifestyle for many as it allows thrill seekers to take to the forests, glacial lakes and streams in between light bulb moments of creativity.

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