*Note from Fundrise: Below you’ll find a piece from our friends at Urbanful on the fastest growing tech industries around the country, which gives us an idea of the cities where we’ll start to see an influx of recent college grads and rapid growth in the coming years.*
Stretching along the southern coast of the San Francisco Bay, Silicon Valley has long been a hub for technology development, home to thousands of tech-centric companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook.
But by its very definition, innovation doesn’t stay in one place for very long. The entrepreneurial hunger for the next great idea, product, or business has spread. Today, America is dotted with cities that could rival the tech prowess of Silicon Valley—here’s a look at a few:
Stanford University’s tech students played a crucial role in the establishment of Silicon Valley, but with Harvard University and MIT, Boston is also becoming a formidable player in the startup world. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick described the city’s robust scene to the Jerusalem Post: “We are creating jobs faster in Massachusetts than in Silicon Valley, we have a broader range of digital technology investments in Massachusetts than in Silicon Valley, and there are more customers on the East Coast than the West Coast.”
Just as residents are attracted to Austin’s low cost of living and high quality of life, startups are drawn to the city’s low building costs, utility expenses, and taxes. Texas also boasts unbeatable incentive programs, such as the Emerging Technology Fund, which promotes growth in the science and tech sector and brings talent in the industry to the state.
Boulder’s population of 100,000 may be modest when compared with the 4 million residents who call Silicon Valley home, but in terms of activity per capita, Boulder is becoming a formidable force. USA Today lists Boulder among the top 10 cities for technology startups, thanks to incubators like TechStars and investors like Foundry Group. According to TechStars co-founder Brad Feld, Boulder amassed its 166 startups through its “give-before-you-get mentality,” which encourages “a powerful long-term dynamic.”
Being the nation’s capital certainly has its advantages. For one, it helps naturally attract entrepreneurs in the military or government sectors. According to The Atlantic, which calls D.C. “The Silicon Valley of the East,” thousands have settled in the city hungry to start their own businesses, sometimes drawn in by its association with AOL, whose first iteration was born in our capital city.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Not only did serial entrepreneur and startup expert Steve Blank advise against starting a business in Silicon Valley, he specifically recommended Ann Arbor. “Silicon Valley is out of A players. Don’t start your company here, start it in Ann Arbor. You won’t find the talent you need here, it’s in Ann Arbor.” What makes Ann Arbor such a hot new destination? The city’s fresh talent pool from the University of Michigan combined with low-pressure investment requirements for venture capitalists.Images courtesy of Werner Kunz