When you think of tech hubs, undoubtedly Silicon Valley comes to mind. The area in California, which covers San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, tops almost every list mentioning technology innovation or the latest startups. But what about the city just north of the Valley?
In 1990, technology jobs accounted for only 1 percent of San Francisco’s economy and have since grown to 8 percent as of 2013. And as of spring 2015, the 75 largest San Francisco tech employers hired 7,000 employees in the city over the past year — jumping from 30,707 workers in January 2014 to 37,782 in January 2015.
An increase in the number of tech jobs obviously leads to an increase in technology companies as well. During the dot-com bubble of the 90’s and the following social media boom in the late 00’s, the city developed into a home for some of the country’s top Internet start-ups. These days, the city is home to big-name companies such as Salesforce, Reddit, Airbnb, Yelp, DropBox, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, and Craigslist.
Large companies like Twitter have relocated to, or decided to build their headquarters in, San Francisco because it offers a more attractive lifestyle to talented employees. The more affordable office leases and favorable business taxes (thanks Ed Lee), are large contributors to companies settling down in the city.
Aside from the business benefits and booming job growth, the allure of a major city also draws people into San Fran. The commute is much easier than those in Silicon Valley and is often a selling point for employees when considering a job. The city’s culturally diverse neighborhoods, attractive nightlife and restaurants, and gorgeous views of the ocean and bay are all contributing factors in people making the move up north.
San Francisco is home to a recognized technology community, topped off with a strong uplift in venture capital funding over the past few years. Specifically, this number translates to $3,400 per capita and over $4 billion from Venture Capital in the Bay Area. To compare these numbers to California overall, of the $26.8 billion venture capitalists invested in California companies in 2014, 41 percent of it landed in San Francisco.
San Francisco continues to take on an “anything goes” attitude to innovation and ideas and its seat atop the throne of where to raise venture capital. While the giants of Silicon Valley scale even faster, the 6,000+ startups cluttered throughout the Bay Area continue to thrive on the culture of celebrating failure on their path to hopeful high-value exits.