Top 10 Cities To Be The New Silicon Valley

Top 10 Cities To Be The New Silicon Valley
Image – Pixabay (PD)

Tech an Silicon Valley are synonymous – however there is tremendous development happening in other parts of the world. There are advantages to setting up elsewhere: First, Silicon Valley is expensive. It costs around 4x as much to start a startup in Silicon Valley as it does in other USA cities. Also the tech giants tend to hoover up the talent in their vicinity, meaning that it is harder for new companies to compete in the major tech hubs.

The nature of this ‘ecosystem’ means that many startups are turning to other smaller “hubs” to base their operations, secure talent and develop their ideas.

There are some very interesting developments happening in this field. There are numerous tech hubs in the world and to represent all of them would be a gigantic report. We have picked several of the world’s powerful tech centers and mixed in some of the most intriguing lesser known ones. In no particular order:

1. London, UK

In terms of performance, London’s tech scene is booming and outperforming other cities. London is regarded as one of the world’s “Cities of opportunity” The city receives a high level of equity investment relative to other European cities, and also has something of a skill shortage, relying on international talent, which means that there are numerous opportunities for those with the required skill set.

2. Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen is considered one of the world’s top hubs for robotics and advanced manufacturing – and has been called “The Silicon Valley Of Hardware” by Wired Magazine:

Entrepreneurs in the robotics development sector claim that they can get products made in Shenzhen in a fraction of the time it takes to make then in other areas due to the availability of components, talent and facilities.

UBTech Robotics (Shenzhen) raised $820 million in a Series C round in 2018.

3. Talinn Estonia

Talinn has been called the unlikely “Silicon Valley of Europe”. The small country of Estonia is fascinating and from a technological perspective is considered a true pioneer – with innovations in several fields. It has been stated to have “the most tech-savvy government in world history”. Which if you think about it is incredible as they do not have the fraction of the resources of the major players. But there is something to be said for not being a lumbering elephant. Small outfits can maneuver! Estonia has built a futuristic “digital-first” society. Estonia uses a platform called X-Road which has streamlined and simplified the management of identity, medical and tax records. 95% of Estonians file their taxes in “under 5 minutes” which is astonishing considering the average time in the USA takes 13 hours:

Estonia has a thriving tech culture combined with free public transportation , “e citizenship” and free education.

4. Austin, TX

Austin provides a viable (and more affordable, rent-wise) alternative to the Bay Area / Silicon Valley. A fast growing city, it ranked #1 in the USA in population growth and third in density of high-growth companies. Home to Dell, SXSW and the University of Texas’ Clean Energy Incubator, Austin is regarded as a hub for the Cleantech and Cybersecurity sub sectors. Austin was also chosen as the site for the new U.S. Army Futures Command which will make investments in science and technology. Source –

5. Tokyo

Tokyo has to be included in any list of tech hubs. It is the original ‘futuristic city’ and has long borne a closer resemblance to something out of Blade Runner than any other city. Sony, Toshiba and Fujitsu are among the many large tech companies that have their HQs there. There is still strong demand for software developers and electrical engineers.

6. New York City

NYC has been ranked as #2 startup ecosystem in the world by the Startup Genome 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report – second only to Silicon Valley. It boasts the second highest number of tech deals of any metro region since 2012 (with Silicon Valley #1 and London #3). Source –

7. Cambridge, UK

With access to world-class science talent from Cambridge university, Cambridge is the home to numerous innovative tech companies. Just 65 miles up the road from central London, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have centers there. Prominent cybersecurity firm Darktrace was set up by Cambridge alumni and is now valued at $1.25bn. Arm is based there, the silicon chip producer whose devices are utilized in numerous mobile phones. More – 12 Of The Most Exciting Tech Companies In Cambridge.

8. Beijing


Beijing has been ranked as #3 (= with London) startup ecosystem in the world by the Startup Genome 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

9. Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv ranks #3 in the world for Artificial Intelligence startups. Google has set up an artificial intelligence startup accelerator there and other major players including Nvidia have set up shop there. Tel Aviv also ranks highly in the cybersecurity sub-sector. Tel Aviv has the greatest number of startups per capita apart from Silicon Valley and numerous major corporations have R&D centers there.

10, Boston, USA

Boston is the #5 global tech ecosystem with special strengths in the sub-sectors of advanced manufacturing and robotics, life sciences (#2 global ecosystem, 1,100 companies!) and cleantech. Boston has access to top talent from MIT and Harvard. Investment is strong, including Moderna’s $7.5BN Biotech IPO, a world record in that sector.

(Bonus) 11. Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRI), Sparks, Nevada, USA

We had to put this one in because it’s so interesting and unusual…

If you have been observing the tech scene closely you might have noticed that something very curious is happening in Sparks, a small city east of Reno in Nevada USA…..

The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, billed as the “largest industrial park in the world” (hey they have lots of space in Nevada 🙂 ) has set up shop there and has over 15,000 acres in development or available. That’s huge. To put that in perspective a square mile is 640 acres. TRI is over 23 square miles, a square of side 5 x 4.5 miles!

Nevada is well known as a great place to do business. TRI offers some amazing competitive advantages: (from their website)

•The vast majority of industrial uses are pre-approved; rarely are special use permits ever required
•Grading permits issued within 7 days of application
•Building permits issued within 30 days of applicationYes, you read that right! Just imagine, you could have your site graded, built and open for business within 180 days following close of escrow.
•Roads and all utilities (power, gas, fiber, water, wastewater, reclaimed water) are in place and built for industrial capacity
•A Berkshire Hathaway owned power plant is in the park with a capacity of 1100 megawatts
•Ample water rights secured and banked
•12 Miles of dedicated frontage on the I-80 corridor and Union Pacific Intercontinental rail line, which is the central logistics corridor to and from the east coast
•Located in Nevada where there is ZERO state income tax!
•All land in the development is owned free and clear

And some big players are moving here…:

SpaceX have set up shop there. Elon Musk has long been a fan of Nevada – and the SpaceX Gigafactory (Tesla Gigafactory, 1 Electric Avenue, Sparks, NV, USA) holds the record as the largest building on Earth.

Google also has purchased 1,210 acres of land on the same industrial park – spending $29.1M in 2017:

Perhaps most intriguing of all – Blockchains LLC has purchased an enormous area of 67,000 acres land (approximately the size of Las Vegas!) surrounding the Google and SpaceX HQs – for $170 million. Their vision is to create “Innovation Park” – a futuristic tech city that will run on blockchain technology and intelligent systems. I don’t think there is anything else like this happening in the world…

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Top 10 Cities To Be The New Silicon Valley
Graphic – Image src – Pixabay (PD)

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