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The Best American City to Launch a Startup in 2017

Have you ever wondered what the biggest difference between the ordinary people and IT geeks is? Well, the first group believes that Silicon Valley is the center of the startup world, while the second can easily explain the difference between Silicon Beach, Silicon Mountain, and Silicon Alley. And if you feel like googling all the three names, don’t even bother: we are here to save your time. In this case, the ‘big three’ stands for Los Angeles, Denver, and New York accordingly.

And yes, it is confusing. With all these new tech centers emerging and competing with one another, it gets close to impossible to tell which American city is going to be the next big thing for launching a startup. But here at Rentberry, impossible equals interesting. So we accept the challenge and create the list of the best American cities for a startup in 2017.

San Francisco, CA

For the last five years, San Francisco has grown significantly as an innovation powerhouse. So far, it leads the list of the cities with the biggest share of venture investments. In 2016, San Francisco managed to attract 15,4% of global venture capital investment. Of course, there is both the good and the bad about being a tech mecca of the world. There is a rule of thumb that the more capital is attracted to the metro area, the more expensive it gets to live there. And the truth is that San Francisco can be a living proof of this rule. The average price for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,493 per month, which makes it the nation’s most expensive city to rent a home. However, you sure get what you pay for. This city can boast of a perfect climate and almost the highest transit and walkability score in California (80 and 86 out of 100 accordingly).

Most famous startups: Dropbox, Medium, Airbnb
Venture capital investment per capita: $1,415

Launch your startup in Boston, MA

Boston, MA

Given Boston’s proximity to the leading universities (MIT, Harvard, and more) and its long history of computer science development, no wonder why the city is so good at mirroring the advantages of Silicon Valley. Recent studies show that entrepreneurs in Boston have a higher quality of life. In fact, Walk Score ranked Boston the 3rd most walkable large city in the country. Plus, the average rental price here is significantly lower than in Silicon Valley. According to statistics provided by Numbe, locals pay approximately $2,373 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center. What’s more, Boston is known for its strong connections with institutions and universities. It is an exceptionally educated city (as much as 45.2% of local adults have bachelor’s degree or higher), which creates perfect conditions for new enterprises to appear, grow, and prosper.

Most famous startups: Facebook, Hubspot, Runkeeper
Venture capital investment per capita: $665

San Diego, CA

This city has the fifth biggest venture capital investment rate per capita, which gives us reasonable grounds to name San Diego one of the most influential tech hubs in the country. First and foremost, the city has become a growing tech scene. There are around 155 startups per every 100,000 residents in the area. Plus, San Diego can boast of affordable rental prices. Locals pay around $1,824 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment. Given this, the city looks like a great spot from both economic and business perspective. That’s not to say that San Diego is going to be the next Silicon Valley (there are much less tech force and venture capital here), but the growing potential of the city makes us keep an eye on it.

Most famous startups: Classy, TakeLessons, SweetLabs
Venture capital investment per capita: $434

Launch your startup in Austin, TX

Austin, TX

There are plenty of reasons why you should turn your attention to Austin, but the absence of state taxes, affordable housing ($1,461 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment), and local talent pool (thanks to the University of Texas) are chief among them. No wonder why this city has already become a home to more than 4,700 hi-tech companies and almost 50 startup accelerators and incubators. Whether it is a strong local support or the Austin Chamber of Commerce or a large piece of luck, but chances are good that Austin will keep on accumulating its significance on the American tech scene.

Most famous startups: BigCommerce, HomeAway, Indeed
Venture capital investment per capita: $323

Washington, DC

Like it or not, but the odds are good that Washington, DC is soon to become the next big tech hub. Despite the high price for rent ($2,189 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment) and a relatively low transit score (only 77 out of 100), entrepreneurs are flocking to the city. It is hard to argue that the local tech sector is dependent on the government and it’s not cheap to found a startup there, but some factors seem to outweigh the drawbacks. First and foremost, the city is famous for its rich collaborative culture and a high level of diversity. In fact, Washington area is considered one of the most diverse in the entire country. Here in DC, people want each other to succeed, which is why you can always rely on a helping hand of others. Local think tanks and universities make DC incredibly educated. This city is brimming with brilliant developers, designers, and team leads.

Most famous startups: Analytica, LivingSocial, Technica.ly
Venture capital investment per capita: $138

Launch your startup in Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

The up-and-coming startups from Los Angeles give us grounds to call the city Silicon Beach. Don’t be fooled by the laid-back lifestyle, beaches, and entertainment the City of Angels is so famous for. In fact, Los Angeles seems to be one of the major wavemakers in the ‘tech ocean.’ Hard to tell what exactly makes this city booming with promising startups, but chances are good that the famous faces and the megaphone-like nature of the city are both playing the key role. If you are thinking of moving to LA, you’d be glad to know that the city that’s been once built for cars is now becoming more and more suitable for walks and bike rides. Plus, the median rent in here is lower than in San Francisco or San Jose: locals pay around $1,877 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center.

Most famous startups: Snapchat, FullScreen, Clutter
Venture capital investment per capita: $110

New York, NY

Hopefully, you are not too surprised to see the Big Apple on the list. Although New York attracts significantly less in venture capitals, there is one thing that makes the city stand out in the global startup scene. This one thing is usually referred to as hyphen tech. More and more startups gain their popularity by aligning themselves with a number of industries. This is how media tech, fin tech, fashion tech and anything-else-tech startups emerge and succeed. It is worth being said that New York City is ranked the most walkable city in the United States, and its rental prices are not as high as in San Francisco. At an average, New Yorkers pay $2,902 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Most famous startups: Foursquare, Kickstarter, BuzzFeed
Venture capital investment per capita: $105

Denver, CO

The times when Denver was mostly famous for its picturesque mountains seem to have sunk into oblivion. Slow but sure, the city turns into another center of innovation and tech. As Denver continues to boom with startup ideas, more and more millennials seem to flock there. According to the industry experts, there were two major factors that unlocked the city’s potential. First was the Techstars, startup accelerator founded by four passionate entrepreneurs.The second and the crucial factor was the government approval. The city was lucky to have both Colorado Governor and Denver Mayor agree upon the fact that support of startups should be a top priority. All in all, Denver is a great place to live. The average rental price for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,550 per month, and the local cost of living index is 82.64, meaning it is relatively cheap to live there.

Most famous startups: Craftsy, Tech Mobile, Zen Planner
Venture capital investment per capita: $90

And what is next?

We wouldn’t go as far to say that the Silicon Valley has lost its lust, but it is time to face the truth: it no longer holds a monopoly on innovation. No matter for how long we’ve been taking it for granted that this place is the center of the startup universe, it’s time to challenge the status quo.

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