Silicorn Valley – What makes Fairfield, Iowa so cool for entrepreneurs?

They know entrepreneurs. Period. Here’s proof:

A true economic gardening environment
– 20% State Tax Credits for Iowa Investments
– $60 million available locally; $1.3 billion statewide
– State of Iowa and City of Fairfield – Pro-Economic Development
– Over $200 Million Invested in Fairfield Companies since 1990
– Headquarters City for 50 Companies

Culture and AmenitiesCoolTown Entertainment
– Lively Music, Dance and Art Scene
– First Friday Art Walk Featuring 16 galleries
– More Restaurants per-capita than San Francisco
– Five Theater Companies
– Recreation on Jefferson County Trail Systems
– Nationally known Health Center and Spa

Quality of Life
– Fairfield Schools Rank among the Best in Iowa
– Ranked #3 County in the Nation in per-capita Giving
– Traditional Town Square with Specialty Shops

See yesterday’s blog for more on Fairfield’s success and recognition.

  • marytee

    Isn’t this the city that the Indian (as in India) guru nearly owns…the guru that claimed the ability to fly? As I recall, Doug Henning was one of his followers.

  • Hi Marytee,

    Please see our comment to yesterday’s intro to Fairfield.

    You are referring to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, most famous to many of us as the guru/mentor of the Beatles and other 60’s folk of various ilk. The Maharishi is widely known for promoting the technique of Transcendental Meditation. The Maharishi University of Management is in Fairfield on the campus of what was Parsons College.

    From what we learned during our visit, the TM folks number around 4,000 of the nearly 10,000 residents of Fairfield. So, yes, they contribute a significant cultural dynamic there. But Fairfield is like any other town, not “owned” by anyone or any group in particular.

    Fairfield is the county seat of Jefferson County, so it has a long tradition of agricultural-based and small town merchant/manufacturing entrepreneurism.

    But the influx of TM folks starting in the early 1970’s has had an impact, too. Lots of TM folks were drawn to Fairfield from all around the world. Once there, folks had to find ways to support themselves if they wanted to stay. This has led to an explosion of entrepreneurial creativity that gives Fairfield its energy today. TM (transcendental meditation) is part of a spiritual/life system that focuses on Creative Intelligence. So not surprisingly, there are a lot of entrepreneurial folks who are TMers. Consequently, there are a lot of entrepreneurial businesses of all types and sizes in Fairfield.

    But that is not to say that all Fairfield entrepreneurs are TM folk. And just so you know, we (Sohodojo Jim and Timlynn) are not TMers. We’ve been drawn to Fairfield because of its thriving, livable community and its culture of entrepreneurism. We have, however, met a BUNCH of impressive business-savvy folks in Fairfield who practice TM… so we’ll have to find out more about this once we relocate there.

    Marytee, as to the flying you mentioned, this is Yogic flying. In practice, the tape we saw during our MUM campus tour was more like “hopping” than literal flying. But there are those who practice this technique as a kind of supreme goal within their spiritual beliefs. You can find out more about Yogic flying here.

    Finally, just northwest of Fairfield is a newly incorporated city, Vedic City, which is first U.S. city founded on the Vedic design principles. For the very “hard-core” TM/Vedic folk, Vedic City will become an increasingly popular place to live and work. One might fear that Vedic City could create a negative influence for Fairfield as it loses some population and businesses to Vedic City. At Sohodojo, we expect just the opposite. Creativity breeds creativity, as does entrepreneurism breed entrepreneurism.

    Already the Fairfield housing market is benefiting from the development of Vedic City. Prices had been inflated due to demand. Now, as TM folks can find housing that follows Sthapatya Veda designs in Vedic City, traditional housing prices in Fairfield are moderating. So there is plenty of room for Creative Economy entrepreneurs, so come take a look at Fairfield.

    In closing, we repeat… we are not undercover agents of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, nor are we members of the TM community. We’ve just learned all this stuff recently as part of our personal decision to move ourselves and Sohodojo to Fairfield.

    –Sohodojo Jim and Timlynn–

  • MaryTee

    Any defined “group” that achieves majority status will “own”–through the electoral process or otherwise–their environment. It’s the old majority rules idea.