Silicon Valley has gained itself a reputation as the hotbed in which to grow a startup. Unfortunately, that can be a double edged sword: the amazing amount of innovation and development that has come out of that region has driven property prices to an almost prohibitive level. With this in mind, here are the five best cities to build a health-tech startup in.
Content by Andrew Bindelglass
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is already known as a central hub for the healthcare industry, housing the headquarters of several large and established healthcare companies. In recent years though, the city has also become friendly to startups, especially those in the healthcare field. In addition to the prime urban location with easy access to other large cities like New York, Boston, and Washington D.C., the city boasts a lower cost of living than other urban areas as well as a wealth of high quality universities providing a well-educated workforce that is constantly being replenished. The city is also making a concerted effort to attract startups. Philly mayor Michael Nutter recently launched a program called StartUp PHL, which helps provide funding to health tech startups. This makes it the most attractive city to launch a startup in.
2. Boston, Massachusetts
If Philly is the king, Boston is a close second. It’s currently a boom town, with businesses from all sectors (General Electric’s world headquarters, for example) flocking to the city and its surrounding suburbs. In addition, Boston is home to five of the highest rated hospitals in the United States, chief among which is Massachusetts General, providing plenty of potential areas for startups to innovate, test, and sell their products. Boston also has one of the densest concentrations of universities in America, and if the radius is expanded to include nearby towns, that list also includes prestigious institutions like Harvard, Tufts, and MIT. These factors combine to make Boston another highly desirable city to build a tech startup.
3. Boulder, Colorado
At first glance, Boulder seems slightly out of place on this list. In fact, however, it is the things that make Boulder so different that make it so attractive to startups. Due to the reduced population density when compared to the coast, real estate prices are substantially cheaper. Boulder also is unique in that a large part of the United States’ nuclear development program has been housed in the city since 1952, meaning that there is a strong science and engineering presence in the area. Boulder is also a college town, hosting the University of Colorado, home of over 30,000 undergraduate students, giving it a bright young workforce.
4. Greenville, South Carolina
Like Boulder, this is another city that seems to be off the beaten path. But Greenville is another diamond in the rough for startups, potentially making this South Carolina city the next Silicon Valley. Many large manufacturing companies, including the aforementioned General Electric and BMW already have centers in the area, but the city is also beginning to open its doors to startups as well. There is a fairly large population of wealthy investors and a number of very favorable tax incentives that are encouraging new businesses to incorporate in their city. This economic climate lends itself to startup development.
5. Seattle, Washington
Seattle already has a strong tech presence, being the host of major companies Amazon and Microsoft, as well as offices of Facebook and Twitter. This attracts immense amount of tech talent to the area, creating a deep job pool. The population of Seattle is one of the highest educated in America; about 55% of the population has at least a college degree. Seattle also is home to a number of prolific seed accelerators that can be a huge asset for burgeoning startups. These factors lead Seattle to round out our list of the top five cities to grow a health tech startup in.