While The Bay Area remains the birthplace of the American high-tech industry, it is by no means the only such hub. Indeed, giants such as Google are establishing a presence in cities around the country. The following up-and-coming areas offer an affordable cost of living, an attractive climate and an infrastructure ready to support an influx of knowledge workers.
Located in hip Austin, Texas, the Silicon Hills are home to a number of tech companies, including hardware giant Cisco Systems and semiconductor manufacturer AMD. PC manufacturer Dell is native to the area, long having been headquartered in nearby Round Rock. Its famous music festival SXSW has helped burnish Austin’s reputation as a high-tech city by showcasing a popular tech trade fair similar to the Las Vegas CES convention.
Situated in the greater Salt Lake City metropolitan area, the Silicon slopes are so-named for the majestic Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, located East and West of the city proper. While the region is famous for its plentiful winter sports, it also occupies an important section of the Internet backbone. This stable and fast connectivity has spurred a burgeoning high-tech infrastructure to flourish, with entities such as the NSA’s Utah Data Center to coexist alongside tech companies like Adobe, Sandisk and Microsoft. Utah laws favor businesses that are willing to expand or relocate outright to the area. In fact, many tech companies have moved to Utah in recent years thanks to its welcoming environment for businesses.
Not to be outdone, Portland, Oregon boasts its own tech hub, the Silicon Forest, located between its suburbs of Beaverton and Hillsboro. Although hosting somewhat fewer technical workers than during the initial peak of the dot-com boom, it remains a major West Coast rival to both the Silicon Valley and Seattle. Businesses located here include hard drive manufacturer LaCie, biotech Company Genentech, as well as IBM, Google and Amazon Web Services. Its workforce is often drawn to the area’s high standard of living and natural beauty.
These areas are only a fraction of the tech movement. While rumors of the demise of Silicon Valley are probably premature, there is little doubt that other major American cities want their own tech hub. High-tech companies encourage the arrival of technologists and investors, so expect competition to become the “next Silicon Valley” to continue to grow.
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