After I was in town for about a year I decided to stage a business plan contest and hopefully fine some companies to work with. The first year of the contest we had a couple of pretty good plans and one plan with great technology. The company with great technology was BioInsite.
After they won the business plan contest, I contacted the founders of BioInsite about having a meeting. They never called me back. Here we are more than 3 years later and BioInsite is nowhere (as far as I can tell). They still have interesting technology, but no money, no employees (I think), and no real future.
Just think if one company had taken a real investment and everyone had realized that you could start and company, get funding and try for the brass ring? Most likely it wouldn't have made any difference, Southern Illinois seems to be the resting place for the less ambitious. But, maybe it would have bootstrapped something good?
In over 5 years of trying to be an Angel Investor in Southern Illinois, that was the one moment where maybe things could have been different. Our culture here in the 51st state doesn't seem to understand when people come knocking with money it is better to at least take the meeting.