Silicon Valley is the startup capital of the world, but it isn’t the only option. This new Silicon Valley offers a high level of talent, funding and success at a fraction of the price.
Startups love Silicon Valley for its easy going, never-say-never culture. Failure is acceptable, so long as you tried your best to make it work, and plenty of investors are willing to fund the craziest of ideas.
Yet, despite the unpredictable nature of startups, the San Francisco hotspot has become synonymous with success, having birthed tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Yahoo! and eBay.
Due to the recent success of tech royals such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than ever. Every business minded individual holds the next billion dollar idea and startups are springing up left, right and centre.
Despite the cost of residing in the Valley rapidly rising, many feel that they must work out of the startup hub in order to achieve success. However, that isn’t the case.
The Silicon Valley stronghold is crumbling, with entrepreneurs opting for cheaper, new Silicon Valley-like hubs. Huge startups now call everywhere from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Seattle, US, home. However, one city is leading the way in startup success.
Where is the new Silicon Valley?
Chicago, in particular, has seen a boom in new, innovative businesses in recent years. America’s third largest city is the birthplace of daily deals website Groupon, online food service GrubHub and popular dating website OkCupid.
Hundreds of promising companies have since set out to become Chicago’s next big thing. Over $1.7 billion invested in tech startups in 2016 for the second year running.
However, part of Chicago’s appeal is its wide range of industries. While tech is at the heart of Silicon Valley, Windy City is well known for its transport, healthcare and education companies. This offers plenty of opportunities for startups to innovate those industries.
Companies often choose Silicon Valley for its abundance of top programming talent. However, Chicago’s University of Illinois churns out hundreds of computer science graduates each year, meaning that startups won’t suffer from a lack of employee availability. Chicago comes with all of the perks at a fraction of the cost.
The proof is in the numbers. 45% of investments in companies based in the city produced a return of more than 10 times the original sum. Chicago-based startups are 1.5 times more likely to achieve a huge level of success.
Coupled with operation costs that are 42% lower than elsewhere, Chicago, now known as the New Silicon Valley, is the perfect place to start building your empire.