When we talk about tech hubs and cities, the first cities that come to mind are Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley, and Silicon Valley. Of course, there are other cities such as London, Barcelona, and Tel Aviv since these places are prominent for innovation. However, some cities in North America have grown throughout the years and demonstrated their potential as top-tech cities.
According to Seneca One, a tech hub "is a community that promotes innovation for technology-based companies." A group of like-minded individuals working in various business sectors that fosters the growth of technology-driven businesses attracts top talent and contributes to the economic development of the city and the country.
The Top 10 Tech Hubs Cities in North America
Here, we present ten top tech cities and provide an overview of the local technology marketplaces so you can decide which city to choose when expanding your business in the North American market.
The CBRE "Scoring Tech Talent" is released annually and is a comprehensive analysis to evaluate the city labour market conditions, cost and quality for highly skilled tech workers and cost competitiveness. Here are the top 10 tech cities in North America.
1. San Francisco, Bay Area
San Francisco, which includes Silicon Valley, is a well-known tech bubble, with businesses such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Uber establishing headquarters here. The city's reputation and infrastructure allow for several advantages, including ongoing interest from investors and high-quality employees. When it comes to workers, the Bay Area has one of the world's largest tech talent pools, with approximately 370,000 IT industry professionals. Furthermore, the closeness of institutions such as Stanford and SFSU makes it a breeding ground for labour market talent.
2. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is well recognised as the birthplace of Starbucks, but the city also has a thriving technology sector. Amazon and Microsoft have established themselves in Seattle, and other major companies such as Salesforce, Google, and Apple will continue to grow. Seattle employs around 2.0 million people, with 160,660 working in information technology. According to Axios-Generation Lab "Next Cities Index, Seattle remains a top destination for graduates looking to jumpstart their careers.
3. New York Metro
New York has a well-established and booming tech community, with hundreds of thousands of residents employed in the field. In 2021, New York City venture-backed companies saw over $52 billion in funding. Most of the funding was allocated to startups in software, IT, healthcare, and financial services. The fast-growing tech space in NYC is home to nearly 300,000 jobs with an output of around $125 billion to the economy.
4. Toronto, Ontario
Toronto witnessed the highest percentage growth in tech jobs in 2021, increasing 88,900 jobs. The tech sector in Canada's largest metropolis has multiplied in recent years, and CBRE currently recognises it as North America's third-largest tech hub. The city of Toronto was also ranked in the top Global Cities of the Future.
5. Austin, Texas
In the 1980s, Austin was first known as "Silicon Hills," a high-tech center. The University of Texas at Austin is also ranked amongst the top engineering and computer science schools. The city has become an attraction for high-tech companies and fields of expertise, including various startups offering SaaS and mobile applications. Elon Musk has built a Tesla facility in Austin, Texas. Similarly, Oracle announced its decision to transfer its headquarters to Austin.
6. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is a popular tech destination for many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses. It is home to several organisations that provide excellent services, such as SEMRush and internet cybersecurity specialist Akamai. According to CBRE's analysis, total tech jobs increased by 8.2%, with average pay increasing by 11.5% within the same time period.
7. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver has moved up to the title of "the new tech hub," having "world-class talent and few immigration headaches" and "great views in a convenient time zone." Microsoft and Amazon, both based in Seattle, have established major facilities in the area, contributing to the city's already growing tech economy. Google also plans to set up a submarine high-speed fibre optic cable connecting Canada to Asia, with a terminal in Vancouver.
8. Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo, a small but well-known tech city, similarly has a high proportion of tech jobs (9.6%). Over the last five years, the entire area's tech workforce has grown 8%. The University of Waterloo is Canada's best technological school, recently ranked top-25 in the world for computer science, and the country's largest producer of tech talent.
9. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a large city with a relatively inexpensive cost of living (in comparison) and a thriving tech economy. Over 100,000 tech jobs were listed in Atlanta alone in 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing tech cities. Atlanta is also known for being home to Fortune 500 companies, including Delta Airlines, United Parcel Service (UPS), The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company.
10. Denver, Colorado
Denver ranks tenth on the CompTIA Tech Town 2020 Index, alongside Boulder at twelve and Colorado Springs at fifteen. Denver has multiple appealing advantages for startup businesses. Tech companies are eligible for various tax credits, grants, financing alternatives, and other incentives through the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Office of Economic Development. Information technology jobs are estimated to expand by 12% between 2020 and 2025.
As you can see, many cities in North America benefit from a thriving tech market and offer advantages to businesses looking for international expansion. However, businesses still need to carefully evaluate various factors, including market access and proximity to customers, availability of a skilled workforce, the regulatory environment, and government incentives for businesses. An informed approach to city selection, considering each region's strengths and weaknesses, can lead to successful expansion and tapping into North American cities' vast potential.
For more advice, you can tap into gigCMO expertise to help you make strategic choices that set your business for long-term success in the North American market.