Boulder Tech Companies New Companies On The Rise



Boulder Tech Companies — New Companies On The Rise


It’s not a secret – Boulder and Denver can be a little competitive. With thatsaid, we love our sister city and are excited to see its continued growth as amajor tech hub not only in Colorado, but also in the country. Boulder techcompanies are making waves on the map every single day.By focusing on a few startups and tech companies that expanded or moved theirHQ to Boulder, we’re turning the spotlight on the rapid development in thissavvy city. And trust us, there are many. It’s easy to see why.According to a new report from SmallBusinessPrices, Boulder is the top risingglobal tech hub based on average internet speed, the number of startups, andthe cities’ infrastructure scores, among other factors.In addition to its inherent benefits to business, Boulder ranks among the top20 most productive metro areas in terms of GDP. Plus, its unemployment rate isnearly two points below the national average at 5.4 percent. It’s also thehome to a startup incubator, Techstars, and a healthy venture capitalistcommunity. The lifestyle, like Denver, is also pretty awesome (and, in ouropinion, unbeatable).Even ten years ago, in 2010, the city had six times more tech startups percapita than the nation’s average. That’s twice as many per capita as runner-upSan Jose-Sunnyvale in California.

Highlighting Thriving Boulder Tech Companies


Over the last few years, we’ve seen significant growth in the Boulder techscene. Aside from new startups, there are big companies planting roots in thecity. Two of those include Apple and Google (oh, you know, just small potatoesin the tech world). In 2018, Apple announced expansions around the country tobring more jobs to the U.S. They added about 200 jobs to its local office inBoulder.Google made a more significant investment in the tech hub, building a large-scale campus with thousands of jobs. Also, the company invested in a $63million renovation project that created 238 units of affordable housing tohelp create more options for people in the city.Founded in 2015Number of Employees: 47Overview: A BWBacon partner, Redeam is a CO-based global technology companythat empowers the growth of tours, attractions, and activities so that morepeople can enjoy the world. By utilizing Redeam’s connectivity and APItechnology, they enable gate-ready scannable ticketing so operators can easilyprocess mobile or paper vouchers and eliminate the costly and time-consumingpractice of manually sorting and counting physical tickets. They also providetech infrastructure and system services to a wide range of clients andoperations globally.Founded in 2010Number of Employees: 100Overview: Sphero creates robots injected with humanity and personality. Unliketraditional toys, their robots and software help change the way people play,learn, and explore by fusing emerging technology with the latest innovationsin robotics. One of their biggest successes was their BB-8 robot, sellingmillions.Founded in Boulder, they love the city for its beauty and lifestyle. It alsohelped a vast majority of their team to relocate to their headquarters.Founded in 2017Number of Employees: 10Overview: Another robotics company, Misty Robotics, is unique in that itprovides a new world of opportunities with robots for business, personal,research, and educational use. The platform is purpose-built for developersand has the tools and docs to build the robot’s skills quickly. It’s alsoreadily extensible via third-party APIs, hardware modifications, andadditional sensors.Their journey is to make the dream of a personal robot for everyone a reality.The company also boasts that they chose Boulder because of its connections,possibilities, and beauty.Founded in 2015Number of Employees: 26Overview: Switching gears to a focus on health, TrueCoach builds software thathelps fitness professionals plan, deliver, and track their clients’ trainingonline. Since they founded, they’ve helped thousands of personal trainers inover 30 countries provide individualized programming to their clients and growtheir coaching businesses.And with a serious focus on health and wellness, it’s no wonder why theirheadquarters is in the highly dynamic city of Boulder.Founded in 2017Number of Employees: 10Overview: We love this idea, especially since our HQ is in a coworking space.Upsuite is where teams go to find coworking space. For businesses looking toaccelerate their search for the perfect coworking office, Upsuite takes theguesswork out of finding the ideal fit office for their business. Upsuitecurrently operates in Denver, Boulder, and Toronto, and is opening markets inChicago, Vancouver, Seattle, and more.Upsuite started during an entrepreneurship accelerator called 101010 Cities.They founded the organization in Boulder before expanding to other majorcities.As you can see, Boulder is a beautiful and growing place to be a tech hub.Attracting new companies and new folks, the makeup of Boulder has shifted toallow room for a more sophisticated technical industry. If you would like yourBoulder tech company to be featured in this post, please let us know!* * *Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as anemployer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New YorkCity or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting startsand ends with understanding people.If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas weserve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day,that’s what we say!Why so many Silicon Valley companies are moving to VancouverWhen Amazon announced its expansion into Vancouver in April 2018, an almostimperceptible shift happened in the local tech ecosystem. With the exclusionof Microsoft’s move into the city in 2016 to establish a two-floor, 750-personoffice, the technology landscape has been dominated almost entirely by small,50-employee-or-less startups. While breakout local successes like Hootsuite,Avigilon, and Slack have made a name for themselves in Silicon Valley, few BayArea companies and Seattle giants would have considered the locale to be anoteworthy tech hub.Over the past year and a half, that perception has changed. Amazon may havebeen one of the first to look northwards for a new Canadian expansion, lockingdown a residency in the Canada Post building and bringing 4,000 new technicaljobs to the city, but it’s far from the last. In less than 12 months, aconcentration of Bay Area businesses have turned to Vancouver to set up newheadquarters or hire new employees.These companies range from some of the largest names in Silicon Valley toscrappy up-and-comers. Work management software Asana and delivery specialistsPostMates are each valued at over $1.5 billion USD, making them bona fide techunicorns. Both are currently hiring in the city. The $23 billion Lyft, too, isadvertising for technical positions in the lower mainland. Gmail projectmanagement suite Streak, Bluetooth finding-device Tile, HR management platformZenefits, data collection company Segment, virtual environment creatorParallel Domain, and mobile marketing platform Swrve are just a few of theother Valley businesses now looking for staff in Vancouver.That micro trend is not a coincidence. In the view of Raghwa Gopal, presidentand CEO of Innovate BC—a Crown agency that funds entrepreneurial supportprograms—the arrival of these Bay Area companies is only the first roll of thesnowball.“I think it’s just the beginning,” he tells the Georgia Straight on the linefrom his downtown office. “Companies tend to form clusters, right? It’s verydifficult to do anything until somebody gets started. This will be thestarting point. You just get one or two that make that move, and then you’llsee another three or four, and eventually it just becomes the place to be.Once people see that Lyft is hiring or starting to set up shop over here, orStreak, or Asana, I think a lot more companies will start to feel comfortableabout doing that. So we’re in the very early stage, but all of this time whilewe’re looking at these companies, that’s a great indication that we’restarting to get that attention.”CJ Prober, CEO of Bay Area darling Tile, is inclined to agree. Hailing fromWinnipeg, the University of Manitoba and McGill grad made the leap down toCalifornia at the height of the dotcom boom. After stints at McKinsey,Electronic Arts, and GoPro, he was recruited to the Tile board before takingover as CEO last September. One of his first moves was look back at Canada tofind the perfect place to open the new headquarters of the company—and to doso, he needed to find the city that could supply the talent for the company’sdiverse requirements.Tile’s product helps people find the things that they’ve misplaced—anythingfrom wallet and keys to luggage, headphones, or even pets. By attaching thesmall square to an item, users are able locate it using an app on their phonethat fires out a Bluetooth signal and connects with the chip. If an item isout of range, the Tile app will call upon its network of users. As soon assomeone running the software comes within range of the lost item, it willautomatically send a message to the owner letting them know where it is.As a result, Tile’s finding platform has to deal with around one billionlocation updates a day—no small feat. To coordinate all its users, the companymust maintain a watertight cloud service: a task that requires highlyspecialized knowledge. And because it primarily sells products from itswebsite, Tile has to operate a seamless direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform.With that variety, the company’s new office required a number of highlytrained engineers to grow and maintain its services.CJ Prober, CEO of Tile, chose Vancouver after auditioning a number of Canadiancities.“Throughout my career, I’ve had teams in Vancouver, the Toronto area, andMontreal, and I’ve always had really great success building engineering teams,in particular up in Canada,” he tells the Georgia Straight from the boardroomof Herschel, the Vancouver-based luggage company and partner of Tile. “When Ijoined as CEO in September, one of the first things I told the teams is thatwe’ll need to grow more quickly, and we’ll need to expand our talent base, solet’s look at Canada as an engineering hub for us.”Prober’s exploration led to a thorough evaluation of Canada’s largest cities.Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver were each vetted for what they couldoffer. In the end, Tile settled in Vancouver because of its rich talent base.The city’s location was an added bonus for the company: operating on the sametime zone and reachable by a direct two-and-a-half hour flight, Vancouver isthe most accessible jump-off point for the Bay Area. Add to that the city’scultural similarities to West Coast America—think left-leaning progressiveswith a love of nature—Prober was confident that setting up a secondheadquarters in the city was the strongest choice of the four. The office wasofficially announced at the end of May.“Right out the gate, we’re going to hire 20-plus people, but really the sky’sthe limit on how big the team grows here,” Prober says. “We’re continuing togrow our team in the Bay Area too, so it’s not like we’re shifting people—it’sjust lifting all boats. We want to build up a new team here. We’re hired aleader for the office, and he’s already hired a couple of people, so we’reracing to build our pipeline.”Asana, one of the world’s premier work management tools, saw similar potentialin the city. Well known for both its paid and free offerings, the companycounts Airbnb, Uber, Sony, Disney, NASA, and 60,000 others as loyal customers.Currently entering another growth phase—the business is looking to expand from500 employees to 700 by the end of the year—Asana needed to increase itsfootprint internationally, and found Vancouver to be a perfect fit.“To hit that [hiring] goal we designed a process to look at differentgeographies…to really identify what the different spaces were and what wasright for us,” Vancouver site lead Niranjan Ravichandran tells the GeorgiaStraight by phone. “Some of the really salient things that stuck with us forVancouver was that there’s a really strong market and talent quota. There aresuch a lot of startups with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. There are alsoreally good schools, and there are lots of engineering graduates from thoseschools, like SFU, UBC, and BCIT. Those were our primary drivers.”Asana’s new Vancouver team is currently hiring in the city, and believes thatthe location is a great place for talent because of its highly rateduniversities.Asana executives made the decision to set up a Vancouver office late lastyear, and when the posting came up, Ravichandran jumped at the chance to moveto the city. Prior to heading north, the engineer had spent his entire careerin California, first working for LinkedIn on mobile-related projects beforejoining Asana when its headcount was less than 50. Seven years later, he’senthusiastic to experience the culture that the city has to offer.“I didn’t have any affiliation with Vancouver before moving here,” he says. “Ihad friends who were from the area, but that’s basically it. So no directrelation. I was excited when this role came up because there were a lot ofadvantages to having a team move up there to set up the office forsuccess.…It’s a super exciting market, a super exciting opportunity, andthat’s why I’m here. I definitely love the city so far—I’ve been here for justa few months, but I’m really liking it.”Asana’s Vancouver team has been established to take advantage of the city’saccess to talent. Primarily a development office, its employees are dedicatedto working on the entire product, including engineering, product management,and design. To help make the transition to the Canadian city seamless, Asanamoved three people from its San Francisco office (including Ravichandran) toensure that the brand remained consistent. Since being here, the Vancouversite lead has noticed a number of Valley businesses setting up shop in thecity.“I definitely have seen a few companies at least in the vicinity of wherewe’re located,” he says. “I’m curious to see how this trend continues and howit plays out…I think more Valley companies moving here is exciting because itwill help the ecosystem develop. I think, in general, more opportunity isgreat for engineers—and for anyone in general, it’s better to have moreopportunities.”While Ravichandran is positive about the effect of Valley companies movinginto Vancouver, others in the industry have some reservations. Dominated bystartups, the city’s tech industry hosts a deep pool of highly qualifiedprofessionals that are paid significantly less than their U.S. counterparts.When large companies arrive with deep pockets, smaller businesses worry thattheir top talent will be lured away and they will struggle to compete.Concerns, too, have been raised about big tech increasing the unaffordabilitycrisis. After Amazon and Microsoft’s arrival in the Seattle area, forinstance, almost 20 percent of the prime office real estate was scooped up bythe companies, leaving little for smaller businesses. As more individualsmoved to the city chasing tech jobs, traffic became significantly morecongested, and as people became better paid, housing and rent costs shot upfaster than any other major American urban centre over the past two years.Seattle’s cost of living is now 49 percent higher than the U.S. average.Innovate BC’s Gopal, however, thinks that as more Silicon Valley companieschoose Vancouver, the benefits will overcome any issues. In particular, hebelieves that the arrival of new businesses will force local companies to payworkers more across the board, helping all tech sector employees.Innovate BC president and CEO Raghwa Gopal believes the Bay Area companiesthat have established a presence in Vancouver are the first of many.“[At the moment], there’s a lot of negative talk about the cost of living [inVancouver], high house prices, stuff like that,” he says. “And if we continueto keep wages at the same scale that they are today, we’ll always have thatissue. By some of these companies coming in here and hoping to elevate theearning power a little bit, it will definitely help to close the gap. So itmay not sound like it on day one or year one, but overall it definitely has apositive impact. [When] earning power increases, [and the] cost of livingdoesn’t continue to rise exactly at the same pace, then it closes the gap.Over the years, in the longer term, it think it will be a good thing for thecity.”Because each of the offices being established are under 50 employees, Gopalbelieves poaching, too, shouldn’t be too much of an issue, and Vancouver willnot face the same issues currently plaguing Seattle. Instead, he sees theincreased call for talent as a huge opportunity for the graduates coming outof the lower mainland’s educational establishments.“[We] hav[e] some great institutions that continue to produce some prettyhigh-skilled workers,” he says. “Immigration is another avenue for us to bringhigh-skilled workers—and this new trial of the PNP [provincial nomineeprogram], where employers can get approval within 14 working days, is helpingto get more talent. So I wouldn’t say that there won’t be some poaching. But Ithink all those benefits outweigh that particular concern.”As the Vancouver ecosystem becomes increasingly attractive to internationalcompanies, the tech network will start to shift away from small, home-grownstartups to a chequerboard of local and big brand businesses.“I think this is going to grow into something really big,” says Gopal. “Thisis just the starting point.”Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her onTwitter @KateWilsonSaysWhy so many Silicon Valley companies are moving to VancouverWhen Amazon announced its expansion into Vancouver in April 2018, an almostimperceptible shift happened in the local tech ecosystem. With the exclusionof Microsoft’s move into the city in 2016 to establish a two-floor, 750-personoffice, the technology landscape has been dominated almost entirely by small,50-employee-or-less startups. While breakout local successes like Hootsuite,Avigilon, and Slack have made a name for themselves in Silicon Valley, few BayArea companies and Seattle giants would have considered the locale to be anoteworthy tech hub.Over the past year and a half, that perception has changed. Amazon may havebeen one of the first to look northwards for a new Canadian expansion, lockingdown a residency in the Canada Post building and bringing 4,000 new technicaljobs to the city, but it’s far from the last. In less than 12 months, aconcentration of Bay Area businesses have turned to Vancouver to set up newheadquarters or hire new employees.These companies range from some of the largest names in Silicon Valley toscrappy up-and-comers. Work management software Asana and delivery specialistsPostMates are each valued at over $1.5 billion USD, making them bona fide techunicorns. Both are currently hiring in the city. The $23 billion Lyft, too, isadvertising for technical positions in the lower mainland. Gmail projectmanagement suite Streak, Bluetooth finding-device Tile, HR management platformZenefits, data collection company Segment, virtual environment creatorParallel Domain, and mobile marketing platform Swrve are just a few of theother Valley businesses now looking for staff in Vancouver.That micro trend is not a coincidence. In the view of Raghwa Gopal, presidentand CEO of Innovate BC—a Crown agency that funds entrepreneurial supportprograms—the arrival of these Bay Area companies is only the first roll of thesnowball.“I think it’s just the beginning,” he tells the Georgia Straight on the linefrom his downtown office. “Companies tend to form clusters, right? It’s verydifficult to do anything until somebody gets started. This will be thestarting point. You just get one or two that make that move, and then you’llsee another three or four, and eventually it just becomes the place to be.Once people see that Lyft is hiring or starting to set up shop over here, orStreak, or Asana, I think a lot more companies will start to feel comfortableabout doing that. So we’re in the very early stage, but all of this time whilewe’re looking at these companies, that’s a great indication that we’restarting to get that attention.”CJ Prober, CEO of Bay Area darling Tile, is inclined to agree. Hailing fromWinnipeg, the University of Manitoba and McGill grad made the leap down toCalifornia at the height of the dotcom boom. After stints at McKinsey,Electronic Arts, and GoPro, he was recruited to the Tile board before takingover as CEO last September. One of his first moves was look back at Canada tofind the perfect place to open the new headquarters of the company—and to doso, he needed to find the city that could supply the talent for the company’sdiverse requirements.Tile’s product helps people find the things that they’ve misplaced—anythingfrom wallet and keys to luggage, headphones, or even pets. By attaching thesmall square to an item, users are able locate it using an app on their phonethat fires out a Bluetooth signal and connects with the chip. If an item isout of range, the Tile app will call upon its network of users. As soon assomeone running the software comes within range of the lost item, it willautomatically send a message to the owner letting them know where it is.As a result, Tile’s finding platform has to deal with around one billionlocation updates a day—no small feat. To coordinate all its users, the companymust maintain a watertight cloud service: a task that requires highlyspecialized knowledge. And because it primarily sells products from itswebsite, Tile has to operate a seamless direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform.With that variety, the company’s new office required a number of highlytrained engineers to grow and maintain its services.CJ Prober, CEO of Tile, chose Vancouver after auditioning a number of Canadiancities.“Throughout my career, I’ve had teams in Vancouver, the Toronto area, andMontreal, and I’ve always had really great success building engineering teams,in particular up in Canada,” he tells the Georgia Straight from the boardroomof Herschel, the Vancouver-based luggage company and partner of Tile. “When Ijoined as CEO in September, one of the first things I told the teams is thatwe’ll need to grow more quickly, and we’ll need to expand our talent base, solet’s look at Canada as an engineering hub for us.”Prober’s exploration led to a thorough evaluation of Canada’s largest cities.Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver were each vetted for what they couldoffer. In the end, Tile settled in Vancouver because of its rich talent base.The city’s location was an added bonus for the company: operating on the sametime zone and reachable by a direct two-and-a-half hour flight, Vancouver isthe most accessible jump-off point for the Bay Area. Add to that the city’scultural similarities to West Coast America—think left-leaning progressiveswith a love of nature—Prober was confident that setting up a secondheadquarters in the city was the strongest choice of the four. The office wasofficially announced at the end of May.“Right out the gate, we’re going to hire 20-plus people, but really the sky’sthe limit on how big the team grows here,” Prober says. “We’re continuing togrow our team in the Bay Area too, so it’s not like we’re shifting people—it’sjust lifting all boats. We want to build up a new team here. We’re hired aleader for the office, and he’s already hired a couple of people, so we’reracing to build our pipeline.”Asana, one of the world’s premier work management tools, saw similar potentialin the city. Well known for both its paid and free offerings, the companycounts Airbnb, Uber, Sony, Disney, NASA, and 60,000 others as loyal customers.Currently entering another growth phase—the business is looking to expand from500 employees to 700 by the end of the year—Asana needed to increase itsfootprint internationally, and found Vancouver to be a perfect fit.“To hit that [hiring] goal we designed a process to look at differentgeographies…to really identify what the different spaces were and what wasright for us,” Vancouver site lead Niranjan Ravichandran tells the GeorgiaStraight by phone. “Some of the really salient things that stuck with us forVancouver was that there’s a really strong market and talent quota. There aresuch a lot of startups with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. There are alsoreally good schools, and there are lots of engineering graduates from thoseschools, like SFU, UBC, and BCIT. Those were our primary drivers.”Asana’s new Vancouver team is currently hiring in the city, and believes thatthe location is a great place for talent because of its highly rateduniversities.Asana executives made the decision to set up a Vancouver office late lastyear, and when the posting came up, Ravichandran jumped at the chance to moveto the city. Prior to heading north, the engineer had spent his entire careerin California, first working for LinkedIn on mobile-related projects beforejoining Asana when its headcount was less than 50. Seven years later, he’senthusiastic to experience the culture that the city has to offer.“I didn’t have any affiliation with Vancouver before moving here,” he says. “Ihad friends who were from the area, but that’s basically it. So no directrelation. I was excited when this role came up because there were a lot ofadvantages to having a team move up there to set up the office forsuccess.…It’s a super exciting market, a super exciting opportunity, andthat’s why I’m here. I definitely love the city so far—I’ve been here for justa few months, but I’m really liking it.”Asana’s Vancouver team has been established to take advantage of the city’saccess to talent. Primarily a development office, its employees are dedicatedto working on the entire product, including engineering, product management,and design. To help make the transition to the Canadian city seamless, Asanamoved three people from its San Francisco office (including Ravichandran) toensure that the brand remained consistent. Since being here, the Vancouversite lead has noticed a number of Valley businesses setting up shop in thecity.“I definitely have seen a few companies at least in the vicinity of wherewe’re located,” he says. “I’m curious to see how this trend continues and howit plays out…I think more Valley companies moving here is exciting because itwill help the ecosystem develop. I think, in general, more opportunity isgreat for engineers—and for anyone in general, it’s better to have moreopportunities.”While Ravichandran is positive about the effect of Valley companies movinginto Vancouver, others in the industry have some reservations. Dominated bystartups, the city’s tech industry hosts a deep pool of highly qualifiedprofessionals that are paid significantly less than their U.S. counterparts.When large companies arrive with deep pockets, smaller businesses worry thattheir top talent will be lured away and they will struggle to compete.Concerns, too, have been raised about big tech increasing the unaffordabilitycrisis. After Amazon and Microsoft’s arrival in the Seattle area, forinstance, almost 20 percent of the prime office real estate was scooped up bythe companies, leaving little for smaller businesses. As more individualsmoved to the city chasing tech jobs, traffic became significantly morecongested, and as people became better paid, housing and rent costs shot upfaster than any other major American urban centre over the past two years.Seattle’s cost of living is now 49 percent higher than the U.S. average.Innovate BC’s Gopal, however, thinks that as more Silicon Valley companieschoose Vancouver, the benefits will overcome any issues. In particular, hebelieves that the arrival of new businesses will force local companies to payworkers more across the board, helping all tech sector employees.Innovate BC president and CEO Raghwa Gopal believes the Bay Area companiesthat have established a presence in Vancouver are the first of many.“[At the moment], there’s a lot of negative talk about the cost of living [inVancouver], high house prices, stuff like that,” he says. “And if we continueto keep wages at the same scale that they are today, we’ll always have thatissue. By some of these companies coming in here and hoping to elevate theearning power a little bit, it will definitely help to close the gap. So itmay not sound like it on day one or year one, but overall it definitely has apositive impact. [When] earning power increases, [and the] cost of livingdoesn’t continue to rise exactly at the same pace, then it closes the gap.Over the years, in the longer term, it think it will be a good thing for thecity.”Because each of the offices being established are under 50 employees, Gopalbelieves poaching, too, shouldn’t be too much of an issue, and Vancouver willnot face the same issues currently plaguing Seattle. Instead, he sees theincreased call for talent as a huge opportunity for the graduates coming outof the lower mainland’s educational establishments.“[We] hav[e] some great institutions that continue to produce some prettyhigh-skilled workers,” he says. “Immigration is another avenue for us to bringhigh-skilled workers—and this new trial of the PNP [provincial nomineeprogram], where employers can get approval within 14 working days, is helpingto get more talent. So I wouldn’t say that there won’t be some poaching. But Ithink all those benefits outweigh that particular concern.”As the Vancouver ecosystem becomes increasingly attractive to internationalcompanies, the tech network will start to shift away from small, home-grownstartups to a chequerboard of local and big brand businesses.“I think this is going to grow into something really big,” says Gopal. “Thisis just the starting point.”Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her onTwitter @KateWilsonSays10 Up-and-Coming Cities for Tech Jobs

3. Detroit, Michigan


Detroit, Michigan shifted its gears from the “Motor City” to the new globaltech hub. With a relatively low cost of living and work, Detroit attracts manytech companies and startups. As the city’s entrepreneurship hub, TechTownDetroit supports tech startups to help grow and launch their business.Therefore, if you’re looking to move to Detroit in hopes to pursue a career inthe technology field or to build your tech business, now is the time.Tech companies in Detroit: Google, Compuware, General Motors, MarkerOS,Ambassador

Top rising cities


Here are additional U.S. cities that you should consider as some of the bestcities for startups and entrepreneurs. These cities are rapidly becomingsuccessful hubs of entrepreneurial activity. * * Baltimore, MD (cost of doing business is 11% above the national average) * Charlotte, NC (cost of doing business is 12% below the national average) * Cincinnati, OH (cost of doing business is 7% below the national average) * Columbus, OH (cost of doing business is 2% below the national average) * Indianapolis, IN * Minneapolis, MN (cost of doing business is 2% above the national average) * Philadelphia, PA (cost of doing business is 2% above the national average) * Pittsburgh, PA * Portland, OR (cost of doing business is equal to the national average) * San Jose, CA * San Diego, CAWe regularly update this guide to keep it current. It was most recentlyupdated on September 7, 2021.Influencers leading the charge in Miami’s tech boom

Changing real estate currents in Silicon Beach


This activity and talent base explains why nearly every tech giant has asignificant presence in Los Angeles: Apple is leasing a space being built inCulver City near a new Amazon Studios office; Netflix continues to grow inHollywood, leasing a new 13-story tower on Sunset to match its existing14-story office; Google just opened a massive space in the cavernous HughesCompany airplane hangar that will, after renovations, contain 525,000 squarefeet of office space and expanded production facilities for YouTube; andFacebook is looking for 260,000 square feet of space in Playa Vista.With those new companies and offices come more tech workers, who will continueto make an impact on local real estate. According to Stephanie Younger, whosells homes for Compass in Silicon Beach neighborhoods such as Venice, PlayaVista, and Marina del Rey, 65 percent of her buyers under contract are in thetech industry.The number of techies and tech workers buying in Westside neighborhoods hasdriven up prices in an already-expensive area. While it hasn’t caused quitethe same level of backlash as tech’s real estate takeover of San Francisco—thedecentralized nature of LA, and the existing high prices, means the industry’simpact hasn’t been as concentrated—it has altered the homebuying market. Foryears, developers have been tearing down old bungalows on Venice side streetsand replacing them with expensive, modernist boxes, or rehabbing with up-to-the-minute styles to appeal to 25- to 35-year-old buyers, says Younger. Thegrowth of high, and higher-end, retail on Abbot-Kinney and Rose Avenue speakto the rising cost of living in Venice.“Retail is probably one of the biggest indicators of what’s happened to thisarea,” she says.The biggest catalyst in the emergence of Venice was the 2013 arrival ofSnapchat, which decided to purchase an array of smaller spaces, including abeachfront bungalow, and gradually built a decentralized network of officespaces near the beach.“Prior to Snapchat’s arrival, it wasn’t viewed as an office hub, it was aquirky beach town,” says Steve Basham, a senior market analyst at CoStar.“Over the last few years, it’s changed the character of the area, and there’sbeen lots of local resistance to the takeover. Snap [the parent company ofSnapchat] took virtually all the available office space in Venice.”In April, when Snap announced it was relocating much of its workforce,abandoning half its office space and moving workers into a traditional,centralized office in Santa Monica, it opened up 200,000 square feet of rentalspace — and a discussion of the future of the Venice office market.More than six months later, it’s clear Venice isn’t going anywhere. Bashamsaid nearly 40 new leases have been signed in the last half year, nearlydouble the pace of the previous three years. It’s expected that a vacuum ofthat size would lead to lots of new deals, but it also shows the premium newstartups place on being located on the Westside.“There’s so much opportunity to get into Venice right now,” says MichaelSpringer, another local analyst at Halton Pardee + Partners. “You can spendall day looking at new spaces.”As the city’s tech scene grows, that decentralized nature is one of itsbiggest drawbacks. According to a Boston Consulting Group study released thisspring that looks at LA’s potential, “Stars Aligning: How Southern CaliforniaCould Be the Next Great Tech Ecosystem,” the city’s sprawl constricts growthopportunities, making it harder to create the critical mass of companies andemployees typically required for successful innovation. The upcoming 2028Olympics, which promises a region-wide transportation upgrade, as well as anincreasing number of homegrown successes, can hopefully alleviate that problemand help build larger clusters of like-minded businesses.Still, according to the report, Silicon Beach, where tech giants keepexpanding their footprints, shows one vision of a tech-driven future economy.It may be why Venice is now attracting scores of smaller startups, saysSpringer. It makes sense if you follow the money; many of the city’s VC firms,including Amplify, are clustered near Santa Monica and Venice. There may bemore than a few looking to capture some of the Snap magic.

Diversification is Key


In Silicon Valley, consumer electronics are king. In Boston, it’s biotech.Raleigh is known for the Research Triangle. In most cases, when a major cityis a tech mecca, it has a specific niche in the market. Atlanta bucks thattrend.“The key to our market is that we’re not a one-horse town,” Wainscott reveals.“About three years ago, David Hartnett stood up a new team, and we agreed on apalette of ecosystems that we want to market and support. We look at thosemain clusters and try to grow those ecosystems globally.”The key industry segments identified by the Metro Atlanta Chamber includeFinTech, Mobility and IoT (Internet of Things), Health Information Technology,Cybersecurity, B2B software, Smart Grid Technology and Film/Digitalmedia/Entertainment Tech. Each of these clusters can be found as anindependently thriving sector of Atlanta’s overall tech community. And withineach vertical, companies of all sizes are represented, from small startups tomidsize firms to large Fortune 500 corporations. The myriad companies haveeither been founded in or relocated to Atlanta to take advantage of the manybenefits the city offers, and their presence has raised the tech community’sprofile.According to the Center of Innovation for Information Technology, more than14,300 tech companies reside in Georgia. The Metro Atlanta Chamber adds thatthe city employs nearly 190,000 technology workers across all of the industrysegments, and WalletHub notes that it is number three in the nation with thehighest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) employment growth.Site Selection Magazine listed Atlanta as the number four North American metroarea for competitiveness in the IT and communications industry. And SungardAvailability Services named Atlanta as the number five city in the country fortech start-ups.“It feels like once a week there’s an announcement of a new company cominghere,” says Andreas Economopoulos, director of recruiting for ProfessionalInsight, a Woodstock-based technology recruiting firm. “There are so manyexamples of software companies from the west coast relocating to Atlanta. It’slike a switch was flipped over the last 18 months. It feels similar to thelate 1990s, but with a caveat. Then, as we all know, companies would scale,grow, scale, grow—and then it all crashed. But now Atlanta is being seen as anew research and development base. So I’m cautiously optimistic. Tech isn’tgoing anywhere.”“We’re on fire right now. The digital age in Atlanta is unbelievable,”Hartnett asserts. “Companies see the access to an ecosystem that will supporttheir growth and, ultimately, their sales.”Technology Square at the Georgia Institute of Technology

The Life Cycle of Innovation


The ability to transform an idea into a viable product or service is at theheart of every company in the tech world. In Atlanta, there are numerousresources available to take firms through that entire life cycle, from conceptto development to market. And they are particularly beneficial for techstartups.“We have incubators and accelerators that will help germinate ideas from anearly stage,” Wainscott notes. The Metro Atlanta Chamber points to suchfacilities as the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at GeorgiaTech, Atlanta Tech Village (also known as Atlanta’s Startup Hub), FlatironOpportunity Hub, Flashpoint at Georgia Tech and VentureLab, among others. It’sthese resources that give startups the support they need to bring theirconcepts to life. And as those companies grow, moving from startup to midsizefirm to major corporation, Atlanta can support that maturation—oftentimes byway of collaboration.“We have thousands of startups, and larger corporations want to be close tothem,” Wainscott explains. “It’s hard for a Fortune 500 company to innovate.They’re publicly traded and can’t pivot on a dime. They need access todisruptive technology. You need that constant creation of new ideas to keepfrom becoming stale.” By developing corporate innovation centers, those largeorganizations can partner with smaller companies that are developing thecutting-edge technology of tomorrow. It’s a win-win situation as “thecompanies can feed off each other,” he says.

Funding and the Cost of Doing Business


As Hartnett notes, the availability of funding is a critical element when itcomes to a company’s growth strategy. In Atlanta, access to seed funding,angel funding, venture capital and more is on the rise thanks to the city’sreputation as a burgeoning tech hub. What’s more, the metro Atlanta region isknown for its business climate, which includes an overall low cost of doingbusiness—something that’s very attractive to investors. “Venture capitalistswant their money to go a longer way. When they save money, they make moremoney. They don’t want to go to high-cost markets,” Hartnett says.In addition to generally low business costs, many companies can take advantageof tax incentives offered by the city and the state. This is particularlynoticeable with Georgia’s Film, Television and Digital Entertainment TaxCredit, which includes tax credits of up to 30 percent for companies thatproduce everything from movies and television shows to interactive games andanimation. The incentives have created a blossoming industry that hasgenerated a $9.5 billion economic impact for the state, according to GovernorNathan Deal. In fact, Georgia is now the number one filming location in theworld.Filming The Walking Dead around metro Atlanta

Build It and They Will Come


Atlanta’s many benefits do not only apply to the tech companies that decide tocall the city home. The metro area is a huge draw for the job candidates whowant to be part of the booming industry. And they have the distinctiveopportunity to evolve in their careers without having to relocate to othertech cities.“The beauty of Atlanta is that you can start young in a vibrant startup. Youcan learn the ropes from the beginning. And as you get better and grow, youcan then move into these larger companies. After you learn a lot there andit’s time for you to look for an equity position, then you can take yourknowledge and go back to a startup that will be able to offer you thatequity,” Hartnett says.“You really have the ability to choose what it is you like,” Welfare says ofthe job candidates who make their way to the Atlanta market. “And companiesare having to keep up with recruitment. They are looking for the best talent,and what used to take a long time now moves at the speed of light. People areable to come in and find what they want within a seven- to 10-day period. It’smoving so fast, and you can’t wait. You have to entice the talent.”Economopoulos agrees, stating, “Employers have to be able not only to find thetalent, but also to keep the talent. There is now this ongoing battle of ‘Howdo we keep employees happy?’”Fortunately, features like low cost of living, high quality of life, ampleresidential options (both inside and outside the perimeter) and the chance tofind employment at all levels are not only keeping talent in Atlanta, but alsoattracting individuals from around the region and even the nation. The cityalso is welcoming to people of all ages, from those just out of college whowant to live in a bustling town to those who are raising families and preferthe suburbs. There’s something for everyone.There’s also something to be said about the flexibility that comes with a techcommunity that is still an up-and-coming entity. “Our story is not written instone yet,” Wainscott says. “You can come here and be part of Atlanta’shistory and part of our community. That’s hard to do in New York or LosAngeles. You can come here and make your mark.”

The Biggest Names in Tech are in Atlanta


Some are household names. Others are renowned within the industry. No matterwhat their background, these companies have something in common: they choseAtlanta. * GE Digital * Equifax * VeriSign * NCR Corporation * Kaiser Permanente * Dell * IBM * Cartoon Network * Pinewood Atlanta Studios * Global Payments17 Tech Companies In Miami To KnowIf there’s one thing Miami is known for, it’s being able to throw a greatparty. From Little Havana to South Beach, Miami is a vibrant city known fordelivering non-stop fun. Boasting over 15 miles of beachfront, dozens of golfcourses and over ten million annual tourists, Miami’s ranking as the thirdmost fun city in the U.S. is hardly surprising.Miami certainly knows how to play hard, but the city also has a work ethic tomatch. Tech is beginning to rise as an integral Miami industry right besidenightlife and tourism, and more and more incubators, accelerators, andstartups are being drawn in by the city’s unique energy and rich culturalheritage. Dade County’s unparalleled diversity gives the region an edge thatmany others lack, and Miami is making a name for itself as a place wherepeople from every background imaginable can come together and dream up newvisions for tech and the world.Miami is stepping into the spotlight, and the rest of the tech sector isstarting to notice. In 2017, venture capital firms invested around $1.3billion in Miami startups, and that number is only expected to go up as timegoes on. For software developers and design professionals looking for a placeto settle down, Miami promises a rewarding experience both at the office andafter clocking out. Check out these 17 ambitious tech companies in Miamiproving that, when it comes to tech, Miami is the life of the party.

Tech Companies In Miami to Know


* Ryder System * Neoris * Brightstar * Open English * ClearSale * goTRG * TracFone Wireless * Alienware Corporation * Matillion * ZumperZumperFounded: 2012Focus: Real estateWhat they do: Zumper simplifies the housing search by allowing people topersonalize their experience. Various filters enable customers to discoverproperties that meet their needs in popular cities like New York City, SanFrancisco, and Austin. Users can also submit their housing applications andcredit reports through a screening service, making Zumper a go-to hub forthose looking to secure new housing in even less time.MatillionFounded: 2011Focus: SaaSWhat they do: If a business is spending too much time sifting through data,then it needs the tools of Matillion. Through a cloud-based platform, theorganization helps companies not only store but manage their data effectively.With a digital warehouse that can house information and pair with other cloudplatforms, businesses can now conduct quick analyses and take steps to stayahead of the competition.Ryder System

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Why Miami is the New Tech HavenRyan Rea spent eight years of his life on the West Coast, working in the techand marketing fields. But after he was laid off from his job in San Franciscoin 2017, the rural Pennsylvania native decided to move to Miami.“I literally came here with a laptop and a suitcase,” he said. “My friends andfamily all asked me if I was insane.”South Florida’s tech sector has been around for decades. A visible example isNetwork Access Point (NAP) of the Americas, a 750,000-square-foot buildingnear Miami’s downtown that was built in 2001 by local tech entrepreneur MannyMedina. NAP of the Americas serves as the internet exchange point between theUnited States and Latin America.Yet this region’s tech sector has long been overshadowed by tourism,hospitality and health care. According to the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, anonprofit that seeks to enhance economic development in Miami- Dade, therewere 15,240 tech jobs in this county in the year 2020. That same year, therewere 151,503 jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry, and 146,465 “lifesciences and health care” jobs.South Florida’s reputation as a tech center wasn’t too good either. In January2015, just two years prior to Rea’s relocation to Miami, WalletHub.com, apersonal finance website, rated South Florida dead last out of 100metropolitan areas for jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineeringand math (STEM).But Rea, a Park West resident whose LinkedIn résumé includes “AI chatbotmarketing,” said he saw Miami’s potential even then.“We have amazing weather … the cost of living here is less than the WestCoast. We have a great tax structure. We have business-friendly laws … We justneeded something to happen,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting COVID.”In recent years, prior to the pandemic, tech and venture capital companiesmigrated to South Florida from other parts of the nation for the reasonsstated by Rea. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns an estate in IndianCreek, declared his intent to move his office from New York City to SouthFlorida as early as 2019. Icahn Enterprises finally settled on relocating tothe penthouse of Milton Tower in Sunny Isles Beach in August 2020.However, more stringent COVID-19 shutdown regulations in states like New Yorkand California have propelled tech entrepreneurs, engineers and investors torelocate to South Florida in even greater numbers, thanks to their ability towork remotely.Then something else happened.On Dec. 4, 2020, Delian Asparouhov, a principal at $6 billion Founders Fund, aventure capital company that includes PayPal founder and investor Peter Thiel,mused on Twitter: “Ok guys hear me out, what if we move Silicon Valley toMiami?”That’s when Francis Suarez, mayor of the City of Miami, tweeted back: “How canI help?”Soon after, Suarez was communicating via Twitter and his online video series“Cafecito Talks” with other venture capitalists and techies from New York andNorthern California’s Silicon Valley who were interested in opening up officesin Miami. By Feb. 18, Suarez’s tweet was refashioned into two billboards inSan Francisco bearing his Twitter address and the phrase “Thinking aboutmoving to Miami? DM me.”But Suarez wasn’t just chatting with techies about turning Miami into a mintfor cryptocurrencies, talking to SpaceX founder Elon Musk on the possibilityof digging tunnels beneath downtown Miami or being a billboard mascot. SoledadCedro, Suarez’s spokesperson, said the mayor was promoting his city as a techhub, just as he has for the past 10 years.“It is not just about lower taxes, which is a very important thing, but alsoMiami has good quality of life and very low crime rates,” Cedro told theBiscayne Times.The tweets and conversations were followed up by some movement.SAY HELLO TO YOUR TECHIE NEIGHBORSOn Jan. 6, New York-based The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm with$545 billion in assets, secured 41,000 square feet of office space at 2MiamiCentral, located within the massive MiamiCentral complex in Miami’s ParkWest neighborhood. The company has vowed to create 200 tech jobs in Miamiwithin two years. In February, Founders Fund announced it was moving into2,073 square feet of office space in Brickell City Tower. At least two of thecompany’s principals, Keith Rabois and Thiel, bought multimillion-dollarmansions in Miami Beach back in December, less than two weeks afterAsparouhov’s interaction with Suarez on Twitter.But it’s not just people moving into Miami that has made the news. On Jan. 28,SoftBank Group COO Marcelo Claure, a Miami Beach resident who owns a stake inthe David Beckham-fronted Major League Soccer team Inter Miami CF, announcedon Suarez’s Cafecito Talks that his company would invest $100 million in techstartups located in South Florida. Headquartered in Tokyo, SoftBank, which has$100 billion in assets worldwide, has had an office in Brickell since 2019,owns Brightline and the MiamiCentral complex, and has a major stake in ReefTechnology, a Brickell company formerly known as ParkJockey that now turnsparking lots into mobile kitchens for take-out food.Michelle Abbs, managing director of Mana Tech and former director of WIN(Women Innovating Now) Lab in Wynwood, said the responses to Suarez’s tweetshave “changed the conversation.” Prior to December, Abbs said she was still“selling the case of why Miami.” But since Suarez’s tweets and Blackstone’sannouncement, she’s had conversations with 56 prospective tech tenants wishingto move into Mana Common, an assemblage of 50 commercial buildings and lots onor near Flagler Street in Miami’s central business district that developerMoishe Mana wants to turn into an art, fashion and technology hub.Assisting Mana on that quest is Plug and Play Tech Center, a startupaccelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley’s Sunnyvale that was one of theearly investors of Google and PayPal. Abbs said the company will be movinginto a Mana-owned office building at 21 SE 1st St. in the fall.“We barely need to go into the ‘why Miami’ anymore,” Abbs said.Philippe Houdard, co-founder of Pipeline Workspaces and co-chairman of MiamiDowntown Development Authority’s Enterprise Committee, said he started hearingthe “rumbling” of tech companies migrating to Miami’s downtown area late lastyear. But since Suarez’s tweets, Houdard said that rumble has grown into aroar.“These are real investors from the top [venture capital] companies that aremoving here,” Houdard gushed, adding that he’s been meeting with companyexecutives with up to 100 employees who are “scoping out” Miami as a possiblelocation.“Miami is crawling with people from California and New York,” he added.“They’re here right now.”But will the tech migration lead to an increase in better-paying jobs in acounty with a poverty rate of 15.7%? Or will it instead speed upgentrification and drive up the cost of housing?SILICON VALLEY EAST?There aren’t any figures yet on how many new tech companies or tech jobs havebeen created in 2021. However, the Beacon Council reports that tech jobsincreased by 45% between 2015 and 2020.Michael Finney, Beacon Council president and CEO, said many of the new techand venture capital companies are setting up shop in Coconut Grove, Brickell,the central business district and Wynwood.But those aren’t the only places within Miami-Dade where tech companies areheaded. SwapUp, a tech startup that designs and manufactures T-shirts andother items, moved from its previous warehouse in New Jersey to Miami Ironsidein the Upper East Side’s Palm Grove.“Doral has nice opportunities. North Miami has nice opportunities. … CoralGables is always a player [in the tech sector],” Finney said. “I would alsosay that Miami Gardens and even far south into Homestead there areopportunities for [tech companies to relocate].”Prior to COVID-19 and Suarez’s “How can I help you?” tweet, out-of-statecompanies worried they wouldn’t be able to recruit talent or raise capital inMiami, Finney told the Biscayne Times. But in the past couple of months, hesaid there’s been a rush from companies headquartered in New York, NorthernCalifornia and Boston seeking office leases in Miami-Dade.“What is happening is that this convergence is creating a critical mass,”Finney said.Maria Derchi Russo, executive director of Refresh Miami, a nonprofit techstartup group with 11,000 members, said in times past, companies located inMiami had a hard time raising money from funds based in San Francisco or NewYork.“We would be kind of laughed at and looked down upon,” Derchi Russo recalled.Venture capitalists thought that “nobody could be building something seriousin Miami. They figured we were out partying.”With venture capital companies like The Blackstone Group and Founders Fundopening offices in Miami, that attitude is changing.“You won’t be laughed out of the room now,” Derchi Russo said.She credits Suarez’s interactions with techies for achieving that criticalmass.“I think that, given the current political climate, he struck a chord withfolks who aren’t feeling as welcomed in other cities,” Russo said.Indeed, the San Francisco billboards were paid for by Shervin Pishevar, abillionaire tech startup investor and former board member of Uber who movedfrom San Francisco to Miami Beach in 2017 following allegations of sexualmisconduct. The head of an advocacy group for San Francisco tech companiespraised the billboards and Suarez’s Miami invite, and claimed that techcompanies were no longer being appreciated in Silicon Valley.“Our hope … is that [San Francisco officials] see what Mayor Suarez is doingand [realize] that tech companies and tech workers are a crucial part of therecovery and growth of our cities and our communities,” Jennifer Stojkovic,executive director of sf.citi, told the Miami Herald.Neither Stojkovic nor anyone else at sf.citi returned an email from theBiscayne Times by deadline.Stojkovic’s claim that San Francisco is not appreciating tech companiesconfused Leslie Dreyer, arts organizer for the Housing Rights Committee of SanFrancisco. She said the city has actually done plenty for tech companies,including giving them tax subsidies and allowing them to operate private buseson public bus routes to ferry their employees in and out of that municipality.Dreyer also acknowledged that some residents resented tech workers for drivingup housing prices. That resentment manifested in a 2020 referendum when SanFrancisco voters approved a 0.1 to 0.3% wealth tax on corporations with CEOswho are paid more than 100 times their average worker, according to TheGuardian.David Goldberg, general partner of Alpaca VC, said income taxes charged by NewYork state as well as New York City factored in his decision to move himselfand his business to Miami- Dade. Yet Goldberg said his decision to relocatewas primarily due to his desire to get away from a dense metropolitan arealike New York during a pandemic, as well as his belief that the city is in aslump.“I was driven by a desire for a lifestyle change. … and I was not bullish onNew York for the next one to two years,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Where can wego that has a good lifestyle and good people?’”In August, Goldberg, a graduate of the University of Miami, decided to rent ahouse in Miami Beach’s Normandy Isle area for a year. Since then, he hasdecided to stay and is planning on expanding his company’s office in Wynwood.“We’re looking to buy a house now that we determined that this is where wewant to be,” he said.

Pathway to Latin American market


The Latin American customers of tech companies are not limited to the US. Theyare present in other nearby Latin American countries too. With Miami’sproximity to these neighboring countries, tech companies are better-positionedto gain insights into the community’s market demand.

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