San Diego Becomes Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is known globally for its high-profile tech scene. Facebook, Google, and Apple are just a few of the huge technology companies that have started - and continued to thrive - in Silicon Valley. San Diego, on the other hand, is known for its beaches and laid-back lifestyle; however, that might not be the case for much longer.
San Diego is rapidly growing into one of the most distinguished IT startup scenes in America, with its startups raising a total of $907 million in Q3 of 2018. Even though San Diego and its vicinity are significantly smaller than that of Silicon Valley, there is no shortage of engineers, marketers, designers, and other professionals who want to build their companies in the city.
Its tech scene started with the “San Diego Community Program” in 2012, where a small group of newer entrepreneurs got together to form a community with a common goal: to develop their city’s tech scene into one that can be recognized both nationally and internationally. Fast forward to today where the community program meetings have over 4000 attendees who all share ideas and opportunities.
Below are some of the many reasons why San Diego’s tech scene is rivaling Silicon Valley’s.
1. Fast-growing technology jobs
The technology sector accounts for 9% of San Diego’s total employment, which is why startup founders aren’t only using the city as a base for their headquarters, tech giants are opening offices there too. For instance, Google opened a 60,000 square feet office in 2016, and since then, other companies like Amazon and Apple have followed suit. When companies expand out of hubs like Silicon Valley, they are creating opportunities and economic growth in places that don’t necessarily fall into the “tech hub” category.
AI in particular has been a fast-growing subsection of the technology industry, and many companies have chosen to start their journey in San Diego. Many of these companies focus on using machine learning for different applications and mobile apps development, which has proven valuable to the future of the technology industry. In fact, companies like Seismic and TuSimple have even received more than $1 billion worth of funding from VC firms.
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2. Affordable options
Silicon Valley is notorious for its skyrocketing housing and office prices. Even though the technology sector pays well, some professionals in Silicon Valley still struggle to live comfortably. San Diego is a great solution for IT professionals and startup founders because of the city’s lower cost of living. Rent prices are almost half that of Silicon Valley, giving residents a wider range of options for work and lifestyle.
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Take office space as an example: the average cost per square foot in San Diego is $300 per square foot as opposed to $400 in San Jose. Additionally, lower overhead costs are a huge benefit to startups who want to allocate funds towards expanding their business. If rented office space isn’t an option right now, there are plenty of co-working spaces available which accommodate the increasing number of San Diego startups.
Even though San Diego is a newer tech hub, there is still plenty of support in the community. Incubators, for instance, are becoming an increasingly popular option for startup growth, especially those who are in the early stages of establishing their company. The main goal of an incubator is to help startups grow through mentorship and funding; the professionals who mentor and finance are highly experienced in the technology industry, providing founders with maximum support for success.
Diversity doesn’t just refer to demographics, it also includes the specific industry a startup specializes in. San Diego is home to all sorts of technology companies from healthcare to IT security. One of the fastest-growing healthcare companies is Arista MD, which gives healthcare providers the tools to improve specialty care while lowering costs. It simplifies a patient’s referral process as well as the provider’s overall workflow, therefore saving time and money.
Being home to a young technology sector also gives San Diego founders different learning opportunities which might not be available in more established areas like Silicon Valley. Building a company comes with numerous obstacles, some of which founders struggle to navigate. With a diverse set of professionals and industries, founders can receive guidance where needed as they make their mark in the technology world.
If you are located in San Diego and need guidance from an established San Diego Digital Agency, take a look at our portfolio for how we can help your technology company.
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