How the Rest of America (Raleigh Durham) is competing with Silicon Valley? Good read to understand the competitiveness of the Triangle area.
“In today’s economy, it helps to be a city or region that is smart and tech-savvy. And cheap.
A new study by CBRE Research provides solid evidence that certain places are attracting highly desirable educated young workers, giving these cities an advantage in building a work force that benefits both large tech companies and entrepreneurial startups.
What may be surprising are the places making the top 10 list that lie outside the traditional tech clusters of the west coast and the northeast: places like Baltimore, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham, and Atlanta. According to the researchers, these communities outperform the rest of the country in the percentage of the workforce with a college degree or higher; the concentration of millennials living downtown; the number of top-rated universities; the ability to attract venture capital to startups; and the percentage of jobs in 20 fast-growing tech sectors.
What’s noteworthy is that the communities in the South and Mid-Atlantic regions have a significant advantage in both the cost of living and doing business, over the other cities in the Top 10. Even Austin, often portrayed as an overheated tech Mecca, is found to have housing costs that are about ten percent above the median, and a cost of doing business that is actually slightly below the national average. Compare that to San Francisco or Boston, where the costs of both are at a significant premium of 20 percent or more…
…As Conor Dougherty reported in The New York Times recently, entrepreneurs – and their employees – are looking to balance growth and opportunities for success with a quality of life that isn’t currently on offer in the Bay Area. As one transplanted employee, who now runs the Phoenix-area offices of San Francisco-based Weebly, remarked: “I didn’t want to have to decide between picking my son up at school and being successful at my job [… ] In San Francisco, that would not have been possible.”
The Times article cites data from Moody’s Analytics underscoring tech workers’ search for quality of life as they build and drive growing tech companies. Surprising to those living outside the southeast, Raleigh, North Carolina had the second greatest percentage increase in technology jobs from 2010-2015 (38.5%).
At the North Carolina-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the nation’s largest and longest-running network for entrepreneurs, we’ve seen this competitive advantage in Raleigh and other cities across the state, firsthand. We’ve been collecting stories of entrepreneurs from across North Carolina who chose to start their businesses here because they saw opportunity, quality of life and a talented workforce, and cost of doing business – exactly the same leading indicators named in the CBRE Research report.As Conor Dougherty reported in The New York Times recently, entrepreneurs – and their employees – are looking to balance growth and opportunities for success with a quality of life that isn’t currently on offer in the Bay Area. As one transplanted employee, who now runs the Phoenix-area offices of San Francisco-based Weebly, remarked: “I didn’t want to have to decide between picking my son up at school and being successful at my job [… ] In San Francisco, that would not have been possible.”
Nicholas DeMarco, CEO and Founder of Practichem (Morrisville, NC) says that his team “deliberately chose to move our business and families to North Carolina from Wisconsin.” Practichem creates tools to help researchers find disease cures more quickly and he knew that to make his company work would require “outstanding talent, [which is] something North Carolina is known for throughout the country.” DeMarco is one of many North Carolina entrepreneurs who conducted a nationwide search for the elements he knew his business needed, and for Practichem, the Triangle came out on top: “North Carolina offered cost effective access to talent, community, and collegiality.”
For Tony Atti, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Phononic (Durham, NC), a connected hub with a cost effective workforce and work space were big priorities: “Phononic was virtual at the time I launched, with R&D operations spread out around the country. With an initial technical proof-of-concept in hand, we needed space/talent/logistics specific to compound semiconductor innovation and manufacturing. We canvassed the country and identified Phoenix, Austin, and RTP [Research Triangle Park] as thought leaders in this space – a deeper analytic dive made RTP a no-brainer.”
North Carolina, and the Triangle region of the state in particular, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the current entrepreneurial moment. Great universities, a history of innovative companies spinning out great talent and ideas, and an ability to keep company costs low make it an attractive location for entrepreneurs and growing enterprises that are looking for a landing spot. But other cities and regions have caught on quickly, with economic developers and community leaders scaling up infrastructure and tech company recruiting efforts. The competition will be welcome, giving more options to entrepreneurial companies trying to decide where they want to grow.” excerpt from Forbe.