Will Silicon Prairie Replace Silicon Valley As America’s Tech Hub?


Silicon Valley has become synonymous with technology over the last couple of decades, but it no longer has it all its own way. As property prices skyrocket in the region, many tech firms are looking elsewhere for their business bases.

Places such as Austin, Seattle, Dallas, Miami and Chicago all have burgeoning tech scenes and all are primed for the property price explosion that has been witnessed in and around The Valley. Let’s take a look at these pretenders to the tech throne in a little more detail:

Austin, Texas

Home to the world famous festival South by Southwest, Austin is the most likely to succeed in taking over from Silicon Valley as the tech hub of America. Its population is young and educated, and there are numerous venture capitalists in the area too who are ready, willing and able to fund the next big startup.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle can already boast the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Moz amongst its residents, so it’s hardly surprising that many consider it to be one of the fastest growing tech cities in the US. High growth in the area has been attracting US property investors for some time and tech companies are further persuaded to put their foundations down there because of the strong VC influence in the city.

Dallas, Texas

SmartAsset named Dallas as the fourth best tech city to work in throughout the US and the growing list of tech companies based there seems to bear that out. Anyone of a certain age will remember a famous tech product that came from Texas – the one and only Speak and Spell from Texas Instruments – and the city has continued to attract both entrepreneurs and investors ever since. Boasting the country’s highest job growth rate, Dallas is one to watch.

Miami, Florida

The close proximity to Latin America is causing Miami to explode on the tech scene. As a city looking to capitalise on the growing number of Latin American tech entrepreneurs, Miami is witnessing growth in its real estate market that it hasn’t seen for a long, long time. Property investors and venture capitalists alike are looking to the city for opportunities that are hard to come by elsewhere in the United States.

Chicago, Illinois

Second only to Silicon Valley in terms of tech job growth, Chicago is home to a wealth of technology companies including Motorola, Groupon, CareerBuilder and RedBox. VC backed cloud solutions developer MAX Digital is also based in Chicago and the city looks set for good times ahead after a rough period in its colourful history. Real estate investors are particularly enamoured with the Windy City, as average property prices here are relatively low compared to the rest of the US.

How About Closer To Home?

Tech in the UK is going through a similar transition as East London and Cambridge become less affordable for startups. Cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester all have the potential to become huge tech regions in their own right and existing tech firms are already beginning to take business away from the capital.

Anyone who has studied the transformation of the Shoreditch area over the last decade will be keen to analyse how a new tech invasion of one of these cities will affect property prices in the area. Canny investors are already looking north for greater opportunities, and anyone with an interest in the property market would be well advised to do the same.

About the Author

Jonathan Stephens is the founder of SurrendenInvest and has a wealth of experience in the property sector and shares his knowledge by writing for property and investment magazines.

Photo credit: Katie McKeown

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