Five US start-up cities
Andrea Murad looks at five cities that have the potential to become the next Silicon Valley.
Everyone’s betting on where the next Silicon Valley will be.
That part of the Bay Area will always be known as a place where technology innovations happen, but with skyrocketing housing costs combined with a housing shortage, entrepreneurs are looking for the next best place for their start-ups.
Like most companies, start-ups need accountants as well to review the numbers while the founders are building the business. This is especially important for companies that have raised at least $500,000 in an initial funding round.
Here are five cities to consider.
1. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is a seaport city along the West Coast with a population in the metro area (that includes Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Kent and Everett) of about 3.7 million.
The area is known for its rainy climate, beautiful sunny days when the rain actually stops, coffee shops (including the first Starbucks storefront), the Pike Place Market where fish mongers are known to throw fish, and music scene.
Between tech giants Microsoft and Amazon and the top-ranked computer science program at University of Washington, Seattle has more programmers than most other cities, according to Madrona Venture Group and the Washington Technology Industry Association.
When you combine the tech-savvy labour force with the drive to disrupt, Seattle is the perfect place for start-ups to grow.
2. New York, New York
Frank Sinatra’s words, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” ring true about the Big Apple.
With a population of about 8.6 million in the five boroughs, the city is home to many established industries that include finance, fashion, entertainment, technology and business services to name a few.
Because of that, this area is the perfect place for the tech scene to leverage large companies for mentoring and growth opportunities, particularly when it comes to FinTech because of the close proximity to Wall Street.
For entrepreneurs, there’s more hustle and a faster pace than on the West Coast, but New Yorkers are used to that.
There are many incubators here as well, along with co-working spaces that are occupied by various start-ups.
To attract technology jobs after the financial crisis, the city along with private technology and media firms launched Digital.NYC.
3. Austin, Texas
They say if you drive 15 minutes outside of Austin, you’re in Texas. Austin is the state’s capital and known for its music scene and the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival that celebrates the interactive, film and music industries.
What makes this metro area of about two million people really unique is that despite its small population, it’s home to Dell, Indeed, 3M Corporation and Whole Foods, to name a few corporations headquartered here.
With regards to the start-up community, like many of the other cities, there are start-up incubators, access to capital and mentors that help start-ups turn ideas into realities.
4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Raleigh-Durham, also known as the Research Triangle Park, was designed to be a technology hub when entrepreneurial-minded individuals saw the area’s potential in the 1950s.
The area is an isosceles triangle that contains the cities of Raleigh and Durham, the town of Chapel Hill and top-ranked national universities, such as North Carolina State University, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
While these schools are known for their football and basketball teams, they also provide research facilities and a highly educated workforce that start-ups can benefit from.
The area is also home to about 170 different companies, including Cisco, IBM, Glaxo-Smith-Kline and Red Hat.
With a population of about 2.0 million, the local employment pool’s talent and passion combined with the area’s high quality of life make the Triangle a hidden gem.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and one of the oldest cities in the US. Known for its role in American history, the city is filled with landmarks and historic sights.
The city is also home to some of the country’s top universities, and the metro area has a population of about 4.6 million.
Large companies like General Electric and startups are beginning to move to their headquarters to this city because of the strong workforce — it’s a great place to hire researchers.
Boston had 1,892 venture capital-backed firms between 1990 and 2013, according to 2016 Edition: The Boston-Israel Power Partnership (www.NEIBC.org), which is in between the respective 1,367 and 3,859 firms in New York City and Silicon Valley during that time.
About the author
Andrea Murad is a New York–based writer. Having worked on both Wall Street and Main Street, she now pursues her passion for words. She covers business and finance, and her work can be found on BBC Capital, Consumers Digest, Entrepreneur.com, FOXBusiness.com, Global Finance and InstitutionalInvestor.com.