Earlier this summer, global real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield, released their first Tech Cities study. Tech Cities 1.0 looks at the driving factors behind what makes a true tech city and ranks the top 25 markets. No surprise that our own mile high city made the list, and was ranked #8.
The study points out that tech is everywhere, yet certain cities have an edge. In the top markets, tech is a key player in the city's economic growth. The other factor? The vibe of the city: "certain cities have the tech feel in the air, on the signage, in the conversations at bars, in its population's habits and preoccupations."
The rankings were as follows:
#1 San Jose, California (Silicon Valley)
#2 San Fransisco / San Mateo, California
#3 Washington, D.C. Region
#4 Boston / Cambridge, Massachusetts
#5 Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill, North Carolina
#6 Seattle, Washington
#7 Austin, Texas
#8 Denver / Boulder, Colorado
#9 San Diego, California
#10 Madison, Wisconsin
The study's snapshot of the Denver-Boulder area shows our well-educated workforce, millennial population and in-migration of millennials, and our large influx of tech companies to be our most dominant factors, putting us in the top 10.
To rank the cities, Cushman & Wakefield looked at each city's "tech stew." The tech stew is made up of key characteristics of an environment that expands, encourages, and promotes the creation and growth of tech cities. The characteristics include:
Institutions of Higher Learning that provide motivation, creative outlets, and research that lead to the creation of new and exciting companies.
Venture Capital to take the ideas and bring them to life
Tech Workers available for the demands of the growing city's sector, and leaders in the space who understand the market.
Knowledge Workers who support the tech market such as legal, accounting, and marketing employees.
Educated Workers are essential to supporting the growth of new companies and the tech sector
Growth Entrepreneurship is highly important and sought after in these cities. It's one thing to start a company, but creating a growth engine is another.
The top cities were selected because of their strong tech stews. Outperforming the company as a whole, the top 25 show stronger job growth, occupancy, absorption, rent growth and vacancy change in tech than all other U.S. markets. While the list reflects what many expect for top tech cities, it also includes some emerging cities we don't always see on these lists, such as Madison, Wisconsin (#10), Columbus, Ohio (#19) and Nashville, Tennessee (#25).
Read the full study here.