Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Sydney, New York – all are centers for tech businesses and startups. For centuries, industry has coalesced around certain, usually urban, centers. Tech startups simply followed the standard model for how things are done; just as the auto industry did in Detroit, or Philadelphia and the early steel industry.
There are several reasons for this:
• Launching a startup is difficult in the best of circumstances. Launching without a local infrastructure is adding unnecessary complications. Just like the Auto industry, tech businesses utilize local business-to-business support, such as web and app development services.
• Beyond B2B support, large urban centers also offer access to other resources, most notably people. Even if you’re startup is just you and a buddy, you are likely to need more staff at some point and time. Urban centers simply have access to more potential employees and a more diverse (in terms of education as well as culture) array of employees. Additionally, it’s easier to find vacant space for your startup in an urban center (a cheaper option than building from the ground up.
• Access to a local market is necessary for traditional businesses. After all, you don’t want to open a SuperMarket in the middle of an unpopulated mountain range. Urban centers obviously have access to more potential customers and more opportunity for growth and expansion.
So Startups have always had a good reason to launch in populous Urban centers. From larger markets to lower overall startup costs, urban centers have always helped startups grow. But these centers don’t remain stagnant; new contenders are rising all the time. This is especially true with tech, with infrastructure that can be constructed rapidly.
Silicon Valley is one example of a tech center, but this evolving landscape is always presenting new options. Seattle, London, Boston, and Melbourne are all up and coming tech hubs.
Microsoft actually got its start near here (in Redmond), but has only recently really seen an increase in the tech industry, with Apple acquiring local tech businesses, and even opening up a new campus. Additionally, Amazon has announced the launch of it’s new grocery locations Amazon Go (not to mention that their own HQ is in Seattle).
Each tech hub has a different flavor. Seattle and SIlicon Valley have some of the biggest and earliest names in the business. London is all about the B2B services. We’ve been getting a lot of calls from London recently, the vast majority of which are all about providing business support services for tech and non-tech sectors.
Boston-based tech businesses are killing it in the EdTech industry. This is probably not too surprising to US Citizens: after all Boston has a long history of intellectualism and is home to over 35 higher education institutions. So if you’re looking to start an EdTech business, look no further than Boston.
The Australian tech industry in Melbourne, Sydney, and especially Adelaide are making huge strides in incorporating tech into public infrastructure. This includes providing the space for high quality tech jobs as well as actual applications of tech into Public Transport and even irrigation control.
While the above cities are excellent options for the aspiring tech entrepreneur, it’s important to note that internet disrupts everything. This includes traditional ways of doing business – like launching in an urban center. At no point in time has it been easier to start a global tech business from anywhere – including from the comfort of your own home!
The internet and technology have managed to upset every point we brought up at the start of this article. Let’s take a look:
• The web means that you can get technical support (like SDI) from anywhere in the world. You can launch in Duvall, Washington, but get development support from programmers based in Atlanta, Georgia – or Mumbai, India.
• The same argument stands here: a programmer can work from anywhere in the world, thus local access is neither necessary nor cost effective. SDI is a great example of this: We employ the majority of our developers located in India, but are managed by team leaders out of local offices across the planet. This helps us offer lower costs without lower quality.
• Tech Startups like an eCommerce website can reach a global market. They are not constrained to foot traffic like more traditional businesses. In other words, a local market isn’t necessary when you can reach a customer on the other side of the world with mind boggling ease.
The biggest thing tech hubs have going for them is irreplaceable though – the atmosphere. Often times, having ready, physical access to like-minded people results in a much more creative atmosphere (hence Tech Innovation Centers that pop up in places like Melbourne and Mountain View). But this is a blade that cuts two ways – groupthink has sunk more than one project!
So a Startup having access to tech hub is nice, but hardly a prerequisite any longer. Tech startups are not bounded by physical constraints. In other words, whether you live in South Bend, Indiana or right of Marsh Road next to Facebook, SDI can help make your launch a success.
Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!