Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur planning to launch your startup or a CEO strategizing to open new offices, knowing about the tech hotspots of the country can be a game-changer.
Silicon Valley has emerged as the destination choice for most software startups. Tech giants like Apple, Google, HP, Intel, eBay have established their headquarters in Silicon Valley. There are several reasons why Silicon Valley has emerged as the number one destination for startups. It is a global center for technological innovation. It is home to hundreds of software, technology, and internet companies. It is one of the wealthiest regions in the world, and the social aspects of the tech community are far-reaching in Silicon Valley. Apart from Silicon Valley, other U.S. cities have also started to attract budding startups. Some of these cities are Raleigh, Austin, Oregon, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, etc. Among these places, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the fastest-growing U.S. city, set to replace the Silicon Valley tech dominance.
Silicon Valley Vs. Pennsylvania
In the startup culture, competitors always tend to line up in close proximity. This gives software businesses an edge over others. Consumers prefer a variety of choices, and it is easy to build infrastructure that facilitates similar businesses.
In other words, Silicon Valley is a destination of its own. Starting your tech business in such an ambiance equipped with a talented resource pool, business infrastructure, and a flourishing market gives a head-start compared to other destinations.
Carnegie Mellon, Silicon Valley is the cradle for many aspirational students who have a penchant for IT. Many Carnegie Mellon graduates go on to set up business at the heart of Silicon Valley in California.
However, there are downsides as well. While Silicon Valley does have its perks, it is saturated with old tech giants. Therefore, there is hardly any space left for new businesses to grow.
Excessive saturated growth in one area has resulted in other U.S. cities as dream startup destinations. Today, we will look at Pennsylvania state, which is turning out to be one of the leading software business locations.
The state of Pennsylvania Immigrants from South Asian countries have been flocking to Pennsylvania because it’s a sanctuary for software businesses. Cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are cheaper than the neighboring state of New York, and employment opportunities are endless.
Philadelphia itself accounts for 40,000 immigrant entrepreneurs who run businesses ranging from tech companies (Haystack Informatics) to food trucks (Delicias). Earlier this year, the second citywide Immigrant Business Week was kickstarted by Mayor Jim Keeney, who traveled across the state to stump for Philly startups. In addition, the presence of the Ivy League school at the University of Pennsylvania proves to be a great motivator for competing startups.
In fact, according to PitchBook, the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate program ranks fifth, and the graduate program ranks third globally among the production of venture-backed entrepreneurs.
Comcast-NBCUniversal is Philadelphia’s largest tech private employer. It even has a new accelerator that includes a game console startup from the son of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s founder Nolan Bushnell.
The city also continues to produce successful coffee companies that fuel the startup drive. These entrepreneurial avenues include companies such as La Colombe, which has now opened in five states, Saxby’s Coffee which is known to colonize college campuses laying along the East Coast.
With legal sanctions and a budding community of online gamers, PA online casino businesses and betting sites are thriving and performing much better than other states. The Keystone State is proving to be the cornerstone of the gambling industry, and many tech startups are coming up with innovative ideas to fuel this sector and attract more players.
Is Pennsylvania the next Silicon Valley?
Tech experts have hinted that it’s time for the supremacy of Silicon Valley to end since Pennsylvania is on the rise. Even though California’s Silicon Valley is home to bona fide software businesses, Pennsylvania is spurring new technologies and presenting a stronger sense of community. Here are 5 locations in Pennsylvania that are on their way to make the state the next Silicon Valley.
1. Erie Erie is Pennsylvania’s fourth-largest city and is quickly becoming an appealing destination for tech startups. The city has a strong sense of community that has motivated the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Erie has everything that a startup needs to succeed, including great coffee, a resource pool of new talent, internet access, work culture, and so on. Mercyhurst University is teaming up with several local businesses in downtown Erie to attract students from across the globe.
2. Philadelphia Being the largest city in the state, Philadelphia has a slight edge over the others. The city boasts of prestigious universities, aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, talented employees, etc., with easy access to software infrastructure and a thriving market. Philly Startup Leaders President Robert J. Moore has referred to the city as “a lean startup’s paradise.”
3. Pittsburgh Pittsburgh has emerged as one of the country’s leading innovation hubs. There are three primary reasons behind this:
Pittsburgh has a highly skilled workforce.
There is an encouraging community that will help new entrepreneurs succeed.
Pittsburgh has a rich history of successful founders and, thus, access to capital.
4. Harrisburg The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is fueling a growing young talent pool. Millennials are increasingly attracted to this city which is encouraging startups to launch here. In fact, even tech giant Apple has set its sights on Harrisburg. Spaces like St@rtup Harrisburg give students the direction and guidance they need to start a business in PA.
5. Lancaster Lancaster’s laid-back atmosphere and the culturally diverse talent pool are moving towards sustainable growth. The city has a thriving art, craft brew, and culinary scene that is proving to be tempting for avant-garde entrepreneurs destined to change the world. Besides, Lancaster’s new generation workforce is among the most hardworking in the city, and they have a penchant for collaboration. This drive is what makes the city an attractive destination for startups.