It’s no secret that mayors throughout the nation are keen to draw extra tech jobs to their cities — usually by recruiting massive firms, within the vein of Foxconn or Amazon. But quite a lot of financial studies proceed to point out that long-term tech development isn’t pushed by a single firm, however somewhat by different underlying property.
California assume tank Milken Institute at present launched its annual record of “best-performing cities” within the U.S. — the cities with the strongest economies. Cities have been judged based mostly on 9 standards, together with job and wage development (over each a one-year and 4 year-period), high-tech GDP development, and the variety of high-tech industries in that metropolis. According to Milken Institute researcher Minoli Ratnatunga, the group makes use of tech development as a measurement of financial vitality as a result of the expertise trade is extra more likely to entice high-skilled employees.
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What the Milken Institute’s report reveals is that whereas creating a brand new enterprise capital fund for tech startups or convincing a software program firm to open a satellite tv for pc workplace would possibly assist, cities that need long-term financial development have to consider what property they will harness to help development at totally different factors within the lifecycle of expertise firms.
Among the cities that topped the record, there are a couple of widespread denominators: First, many of those cities have universities with well-funded analysis packages which have a robust report of commercializations. Second, these cities have a low value of residing and different facilities (alternatives for outside actions, vibrant cultural scene) that make them a pretty place to quiet down. Third, they both have a good regulatory atmosphere or a robust focus of different high-tech companies that, when mixed with a robust college system and a top quality of life, will help persuade tech companies that it is likely to be simpler to develop their firms in these cities than in different markets.
Provo, Utah secured the highest spot on this yr’s record. Provo has been within the prime three for the previous 5 years, because of its steady jobs development within the skilled, scientific, and technical providers sector. The metropolis added 5,500 high-tech jobs between 2011 and 2016. Over that very same time interval, weekly wages elevated 14 p.c.
Ratnatunga additionally highlighted Brigham Young University, dwelling to just about 35,000 college students, as a key driver in Provo’s development. BYU was among the many Milken Institute’s prime 5 universities in expertise switch in 2017.
The college has a expertise switch workplace that college can flip to for assist commercializing applied sciences. In return, the college will get 55 p.c of the income generated by licenses, whereas the inventor will get 45 p.c — a extra beneficiant lower than different universities, which helps incentivize commercialization. BYU additionally has an entrepreneurship program that sees robust curiosity from the scholar body. Within the previous 5 years, BYU college students have launched 676 firms which have secured a mixed $1.3 billion in funding.
The different cities within the prime 5 are, so as: Raleigh, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; San Francisco, California; and Fort Collins, Colorado.
San Francisco is the outlier on this record within the sense that it does have a better value of residing than a few of the different cities and is a extra aggressive place for tech expertise. While the Bay Area is experiencing excessive charges of web migration, San Francisco nonetheless had the very best high-tech GDP development between 2011 and 2016.
While cities like Provo, Raleigh, Dallas, and Fort Collins could also be attracting employees because of a top quality of life, Ratnatunga mentioned that politicians in these cities can be clever to contemplate how they will preserve that high quality of life because the variety of extremely paid tech employees will increase, which may trigger issues like housing costs and site visitors to extend.
“How these cities handle their development will likely be actually fascinating within the subsequent couple of years — a few of these [advantages] could turn out to be constraints going ahead,” Ratnatunga advised VentureBeat.
This article sources data from VentureBeat