California, Massachusetts, and New York remain the dominant forces for venture activity in the U.S., but several emerging ecosystems have seen robust activity in recent years and are poised for growth in the next decade. Lower valuations, lower costs of living, strong pools of talent, maturing and diversified investor networks, and interest from local governments are all favorable trends for the next wave of leading startup markets. The impact of COVID-19 has brought new interest in emerging ecosystems through potential migration from large coastal urban centers and virtual work environments becoming the new normal. But there are also concerns around local capital availability to meet demand during a downturn and how much coastal capital will travel as a result of public health safety measures. This session will cover the opportunities and challenges for these emerging ecosystems, and explore what’s in store for investors and entrepreneurs.