Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley still get most of the attention now, but a slew of unexpected cities are aiming to give those areas some serious start-up competition.
Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, for example, believes that his state has what it takes to become the countryâ€™s next technology hub. On Wednesday he announced a partnership with prominent state business leaders to create a $150 million venture fund supporting entrepreneurship.
Of course, itâ€™s no secret that Boulder, Colorado, is home to a booming tech industry; the city boasts satellite offices for companies like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM as well as the accelerator TechStars Boulder and a growing start-up community. Itâ€™s a prime location for young people and entrepreneurs, Hickenlooper says.
â€œI think every community is competing [with Silicon Valley],â€ Hickenlooper told Venture Beat on Wednesday, citing the Colorado Rockies, a progressive public education system, and great music venues as reasons for techies to ditch the Bay Area and move east.
But maybe he shouldnâ€™t count those chickens just yet.
According to Brookingsâ€™ patent and innovation research, cities like San Jose, San Francisco, and New York still produce more patents than anywhere else in the United States--San Jose alone receives an average of 9,237 patents per year. But underdogs like Burlington, Vermont; Rochester, Minnesota; and Corvallis, Oregon produce more patents per million residents than the traditional tech hubs.
In other words, these smaller metro areas have higher patent-to-resident ratios than the big cities. Burlington produces an average of 3,951 patents per million residents in a year. San Francisco? Only 1,638.
In the research, the Brookings Institute suggests that the presence of nearby research universities, a scientifically-educated workforce, and collaborative values may all play a role in a community's proclivity to innovation.
Plus, starting up outside of Silicon Valley could mean less competition--and more funding--for your business.
So if youâ€™re planning to launch a technology company, perhaps you should heed Hickenlooperâ€™s advice and consider moving to Boulder--but donâ€™t forget to check out Burlington, Rochester, and Corvallis while youâ€™re at it.