Twitter. Google. Microsoft. Facebook. Apple.
These are just some of the biggest technology names of our time. But have you ever thought about how they got their start?
It has been reported that nearly 14% of working people consider themselves entrepreneurs. With that competition, it’s no surprise that only some startups run successfully past 3 years.
Being a tech entrepreneur requires you to take initiative with your ideas, and accept the risk factor that comes along with pouring every drop of sweat, time, and money into your endeavor.
With all of that effort, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can, every step of the way, to bring your company to the top.
If there is one important component that entrepreneurs sometimes overlook when starting up their business, it is location.
Successful companies grow and thrive in cities that foster their intent. As a tech entrepreneur, you probably think immediately of Silicon Valley which is located in the Bay Area of San Francisco.
But what if I told you Silicon Valley seems like it’s hitting its limit?
Check out the cities below as alternative options that can help your company reach its fullest potential.
What is a Tech Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is not a new concept.
It’s important to know that entrepreneurs are not looking to change the game slightly, they are looking to reinvent and impact entire industries and what we know with a single idea.
Think back to John Rockefeller and Benjamin Franklin. These self-made millionaires took their ideas and brought them to people and places where they could be successful.
While entrepreneurship is not new, tech entrepreneurship is.
States around the country have been implementing websites, programs, and organizations to help new tech entrepreneurs connect with others and learn the demands of the industry.
As what is considered the fastest growing and most ever-changing industry, it’s important to bring your tech entrepreneur ideas to the best area and work alongside the best people possible.
What to Consider When Starting Up
We’ve already mentioned that location is a key component to ensuring your company’s success – but why does it matter?
Studies show that 69% of entrepreneurs begin their journey from their home.
Starters often have
- children to care for
- other full-time jobs to supplement income
- financial support from family and friends
- a comfortable surrounding to begin marketing
After the business is up and running, most entrepreneurs research where they can relocate to grow even more.
What else do I need to know?
Below, you will see how the cost of living, college and university influence, established programs and organizations, workforce availability, etc. affect how a city can help your startup grow.
Becoming a member of an established organization can help you avoid failure in the early days of your startup. Those organizations can also help you get back on track after facing setbacks.
Other things to consider are
- public transportation options for employees (proximity to major airports and train stations)
- diversity among employees and customers
- investor/financing options
It’s also important to know how a new city’s tax regulations will affect your business.
The Best Cities
I mentioned how Silicon Valley is nearing its bursting point, but that doesn’t take away from it being the primary hub of the technology world.
Colorado is in the same boat. More than 5 major cities in Colorado and are now tech-heavy and can almost guarantee success for your growing product/company.
If you don’t want to feel the pressure in those two tech entrepreneur cities, here are other places where you can get started today!
In Houston, the cost of living is 2% lower than the national average.
If you and your family decide to take your entrepreneurship to Houston, you can spend less money on rent and taxes and put more into funding your project.
Some reasons Texas might be the place to settle as a tech entrepreneur include:
- The abundance of available services that new companies require (accountants, marketing personnel, lawyers, etc.)
- Investors looking to fund and support new companies/products
- Many available programs and organizations created to aid you in your journey
- Large employment pool
The largest and most popular organization created in Houston to help tech entrepreneurs is the Houston Technology Center. Get in touch with them today to plan your move.
Is the proximity to Walt Disney World not enough to convince you?!
In Orlando, the cost of living is 5% lower than the national average.
Again, this low cost of living makes a big difference to those who are looking to save money on personal expenses and put funds toward their company instead.
While Silicon Valley is fizzling out, Orlando, Florida is just getting started in the tech industry.
Like Houston, Orlando has a number of programs created to help accelerate the success for a tech entrepreneur and connect them for networking purposes.
When you do your research, check out Starter Studio, VentureScaleUp, and Canvs.
In Hunstville, the cost of living is 8% lower than the national average!
The recent NASA influence on this Tennessee border city has drawn innovators in the science, math, technology, and engineering fields here for almost 70 years.
With a steady increase of professionals working in these fields, it makes sense to bring your entrepreneurship here.
Imagine the connections and networking that can be done when you meet people who are as passionate as you are?
The city also hosts an event called Innovate Huntsville that lasts for an entire week and offers training sessions, startup ideas, demonstrations and more – just for tech entrepreneurs.
Salt Lake City, Utah
In Salt Lake City, the cost of living is 6% lower than the national average.
On this list, Salt Lake City is the closest, geographically, to Silicon Valley. It’s common to see people leave Silicon Valley and go to Salt Lake City to continue their business successes.
City taxes are low and the talent coming from surrounding colleges and universities is high. If you choose to launch your startup in Salt Lake City, you’re bound to recruit qualified young professionals who understand your vision.
Interestingly enough, the Mormon culture that is prevalent in Salt Lake City has a huge impact on the successes of startup companies. They value hard work and can often be found promoting themselves door-to-door.
LaunchUp, Dixie Techs, and Entrepreneur’s Organization are only a few of the many programs available to you when getting started in Utah.
In Seattle, the cost of living is 45% higher than the national average. This is the only city that I’ve included in the list where the cost of living is higher than the average.
Do we have to consider this a bad thing? No.
The high cost of living is due to having a healthy economy which can aide your company in the long run. Employment rates are high and growing, and people are flocking from the south-west up to the north-west.
As a tech entrepreneur, you’ll be happy to know that the University of Washington offers undergrad and masters courses that specialize in technology innovation.
It seems as though you’ll be surrounded by people like yourself, and having a community of like-minded entrepreneurs is a great way to grow your startup.
Consider checking out GeekWire, the Association for Corporate Growth (Seattle chapter), and Washington Technology Industry Association, which are organizations created to help guide a tech entrepreneur like yourself.
Manchester, New Hampshire
In Manchester, the cost of living is 19% higher than the national average due to its location and access to waterways.
There is no sales tax and no income tax in New Hampshire, the unemployment rate it at an all-time low, and tech jobs are on the rise.
They’ve recently had an influx of young adults moving to the area to start their own companies. You can enjoy the benefits of the Boston tech influence since it is so close in proximity, but don’t need to deal with the congestion of the city.
Instead, enjoy the many lakes, rivers, and mountains that Manchester offers as a relaxing place to live and grow your business.
There are close to 35 cities in the USA today with a population of over half a million people. In this post, I discussed only 6 of those cities.
Your job now is to decide where you will go from here to make an impact on the tech industry.
Remember that where you choose to market yourself, and who you surround yourself with, will be key to changing the technology industry for the future generations.
For more information on how to grow your company/product, and to decide where you want to locate as a tech entrepreneur, click here.