For years, Silicon Valley has been the clear winner when it comes to tech hotspots in the US, but more recently, many up-and-coming regions are emerging to challenge the Northern California hub for the elite tech throne.
It’s a topic that sparks never-ending debate, but when one of the most powerful CEOs publicly regrets not building his company outside of the Bay Area and a slew of others painting a bleak picture for the sustainability of Silicon Valley, the relocation of the current tech scene seems inevitable.
As CEOs continue to urge for geographic change and startups endlessly searching for the next best place to thrive, we decided to look beyond the normal data and figures to highlight a few regions that could become the next Silicon Valley.
Washington, DC – “The politicization of software”
Granted, everyone knows that DC is and will always be known as the political hub of the US, but a 21 percent rise in high-tech employment since 2001 is reason enough for this political capital to make the LEWIS 360 shortlist. Add that to the trend of tech giants and startups increasing lobbying efforts, and it is no surprise that Washington is becoming a prime location for corporate growth. Where else can a CEO spend the morning negotiating the next big merger, then walk a few blocks to legislative debates that will potentially impact billions of dollars in tech spending?
Raleigh, North Carolina – “Tech meets southern hospitality”
Raleigh is an easy contender based on the corporate data pointing to an upward trend in economic success, specifically in tech. Combine the fastest growing job market and the fastest growing city (according to the 2010 Census) with a dedicated push for more tech and innovation-based companies, and the city has a proven recipe for success. While this southern city may not have the size and infrastructure that many other big-city contenders boast, the relative youth and public backing in the tech market makes it one of the most exciting locations to watch.
San Diego, California – “Endless sun, endless profits”
The final city on the list comes as no surprise to some. San Diego has been on the high-tech watch list for the past decade, largely thanks to the growth of biotech and life sciences in the region. With so much tech talent located in one, climate-friendly location, this Southern California city is capitalizing on a diverse range of tech industries to drive growth and draw companies down from the north. While the same state business laws that Bay Area CEOs dislike still play a role in overall growth, the climate, tech culture and broad industry knowledge keep this city growing toward the top.