Five Thriving Regions For Entrepreneurs Outside of Silicon Valley

Five Thriving Regions For Entrepreneurs Outside of Silicon Valley

Operations | Posted by - June 25, 2018 at 1:00 am

Since the 1970s Silicon Valley has been the leader in startups, tech and a localized hub of entrepreneurial success. While it's still a major contender, it's not the only place business is booming in the U.S. In fact, a Global Startup Report from Startup Genome suggests it's quickly being outpaced by cities both in and out of the United States. Here are five key hotspots in the U.S. that are attracting entrepreneurs, both in business opportunities and salary options that may put Silicon Valley to shame in coming years (listed alphabetically, not by any ranking):


When you think Texas you probably think steaks and steers, not startups or entrepreneurs, but that is soon to change as Austin begins to move up the ranks of attractiveness to startups. It's already home to several big companies including offices of Amazon, Google and Facebook, and Whole Foods. Austin also scored #1 in the CNBC Metro 20: America's Best Places to Start a Business. The location of the University of Texas, Austin and other universities there has given the city a reputation among employers "for having a well-educated workforce, a big draw for employers and engine of growth," CNBC writes. Low taxes and low cost of living make this a great location for new entrepreneurs trying to get businesses off the ground.


Boston might just be a city that has it all: nightlife, museums, great sports, music, the list goes on. But now it's also climbing the ranks in business and tech, likely in large part due to the Techstars Boston Accelerator, which, according to, "has helped launch and fund more companies than any other Techstars program in the world. 134 startups, $715 million in total funding, 19 successful exits and 95 startups are continuing to grow with more than a thousand employees overall." Boston is also home to three of the top venture capital firms in the state of Massachusetts and promotes a healthy atmosphere of co-working spaces, resources for entrepreneurs and successful companies.


In a new report on cities that are startup friendly by, Columbus ranked fifth in the United States. According to The Dispatch,"The capital city of Ohio makes a strong argument, with a large, educated young adult population and solid numbers for startup growth."  Within just a few square miles, there is a diverse mix of businesses and industries ranging from manufacturing, to retail, to ecommerce. Plus the city recently received a $277 million Smart City grant "to shore up the city's infrastructure." Columbus is also highly affordable. 


Following the trend of regions with lower cost of living, the Upper Midwest - especially the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota - are a thriving hotbed for startups, according to Venture Beat, who write: "In 2016, 98 Minnesota health technology startups raised $420.3 million - well above other Midwestern states…which saw an 80 percent increase in funding from 2015 to 2016." This area is also becoming a leader in health care, both in retail, and consumer-facing companies, encouraging massive innovation in digital health.


Known for its music and educational opportunities, Nashville is quickly becoming a hub for tech and innovation. According to Entrepreneur magazine, Nashville has added 170,000 jobs since 2010. Some of its biggest employers include Vanderbilt University, Amazon and Nissan. It courts entrepreneurs with several programs: The annual 36/86 entrepreneurship and technology conference, where founders, investors and innovators from all over the Southeast gather. It's also home to the NashPreneur program, a digital resource for entrepreneurs. And the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC), is a growing part of Nashville. It's one of 11 North American tech hubs in the Google for Entrepreneurs network. 


Lastly, as trends expert Daniel Levine, Director of the Avant Guide Institute in New York City points out, the next big Silicon Valley may be everywhere, centered in people's homes through remote work. "Tech has made it possible for companies to be more virtual, and for their employees to live apart from one another," he tells me. 

Of course, if you're more interested in working for a company than starting one, has some recommendations for cities that pay the top salaries, with leaders on the west and East coasts ranking highest, but cost of living is also most expensive in these regions.

Tags: business advice, entrepreneur, silicon valley, startup, startups, tech entrepreneur

Jordan Rosenfeld

Jordan is a freelance writer and author of eight books--six writing guides and two novels--most recently: How to Write a Page Turner (Writer's Digest Books). Her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic, Daily Worth, The New York Times, Quartz, Scientific American, The Washington Post and many more. Follow her: @JordanRosenfeld on twitter, or visit:

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