5 Great U.S. Tech Startup Ecosystems For Jobs
According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Index, North America remains the internationally-leading region in terms of the number of tech startup ecosystems in the world, with 15 of the top 30 global hubs, as well as three additional entries in the 10 runners-up.
These locations are the ones to watch in terms of the startup scene offering higher funding opportunities, job opportunities, quality of life and more. Discover five top picks below.
Highlighted as a hotspot by the report, and up 10 places from last year’s index, Miami is a startup ecosystem to watch over the next 36 months, especially in the areas of life sciences and ed tech.
While the city’s infrastructure and diverse talent pool make it especially attractive, what really piques the tech world’s interest is the diversity among its VCs and the growing attention being given to linking the city with Latin America, along with the founding of 500 Startups in the center of the city.
500 Startups is dedicated to ensuring that under-represented founders receive the support they need in order to position Miami as a launchpad into Latin America. This is a goal echoed by several startups including eMerge Americas, a conference and digital platform with a goal to link Florida and Latin America from a business point of view.
In terms of life sciences, Miami is a top 30 global ecosystem, while the Cambridge Innovation Centre is home to 250 life sciences startups at all stages, including Opko Health, Lean Orb and Lucidity Eye.
2. Los Angeles
You hear LA, you think Hollywood. But Los Angeles is also one of the U.S.’ fastest-growing ecosystems, thanks in no small part to NASA’s R&D center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Northrup Grumman‘s 110-acre campus, and SpaceX headquarters.
LA is also home to many co-working spaces, over 100 VC firms and a tech-savvy workforce, with over 1.5 million residents holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher. However, it still came as a surprise when the city replaced Boston within the Global Startup Ecosystem Index’s top five US cities.
Opportunities within the Californian city range from startups operating within the Metaverse, to those disrupting the fintech space. Companies operating within the crypto and gaming spaces continue to grow and take advantage of the skilled workforce.
Cleantech also remains one of LA’s biggest draws, with The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator providing green loans of $25,000 to $250,000 to early-stage green businesses.
Despite last year’s layoffs, Seattle is still ranked as one of the great tech hubs in the US, second only to Silicon Valley.
Despite the downturn, research shows that those who lost their job within tech found another one within three months, with most increasing salaries as they took their experience to new startups, operating in a slightly different space.
In addition to the proliferation of talent and startups, Seattle is also home to some of tech’s most prestigious events, which continue to attract VCs to the area.
The Venture Capital World Summit, the biannual Seattle Angel Conference, and the GeekWire Summit ensure a steady stream of investors and talent visiting the city, while the AWS Impact Accelerator, run by Amazon Web Services ensures early-stage startups led by Black, women, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ founders are supported, drawing a diverse scope of businesses.
Chicago remained just inside the top 20 of the U.S. startup hubs this year, even though companies based here raised less startup capital in 2022 than they did in 2021.
However, despite its slowdown, Chicago grew its number of unicorns year-on-year, and remains a hub to watch as its proximity to several top-tier colleges means it offers companies a diverse and enviable talent stream.
In addition to talent, founders can access over 70 startup accelerators and incubators including the renowned 1871, ensuring all possible support for success is on hand.
With a fondness for fintech, Chicago is home to financial startups including Avant and Enova International, but where it really sets itself apart from other US cities is with its prevalence of food tech companies.
The city has over 2,800 of these in its ecosystem, generating $9.8B annually in output. Leaning into this food culture, earlier this year the Chicago Venture Summit ran a Future-of-Food event, positioning the city as the center of US foodtech.
5. Washington D.C.
There’s nothing fast moving about Washington D.C., and it’s exactly this type of security that sees it remain one of the US top tech hubs year after year.
Few other cities are able to match it for stability, which is why the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023 ranks it as number 11.
The city posted more tech jobs than any other U.S. city in 2023––boasting over 16,000 in June this year alone.
However, while it would be easy to attribute the opportunities to the federal Government, and that is partially true, those in the know are turning their attention to Washington D.C.-adjacent cities such as Maryland and Virginia; with the latter set to become home to a “monster HQ” for Amazon.