Seattle scores high in the latest report of startup hubs

The San Francisco Bay Area still holds the undisputed crown for startup activity and venture capital. But if you’re just looking to get your company started, there are some cheaper places to do so which still offer great amenities for entrepreneurs.

According to a report from GoodApril, a San Francisco-based tax-planning service, the best places to start a company are Austin, Seattle and Boulder. GoodApril based its findings on median tech-employee earnings, personal income tax, property tax, the cost of housing and the cost of office space.

comparison-hubsInterestingly, the Bay Area ranked dead last among the seven startup hubs.

“Living and working in the Bay Area is expensive! Really expensive! At the same time, you can’t beat the vibrant startup and technology ecosystem,” according to a blog post announcing the report. “Several tech scenes across the country are in various stages of development, and giving the Bay Area increased competition for standing as the hub for entrepreneurship.”

Just the other day, I was talking with an entrepreneur about the power of starting a company in Seattle, but raising money from Valley VCs, a path that a number of entrepreneurs have chosen to take. There are certainly a lot of advantages to doing that, as the graphic above shows. That said, having a stronger home-grown venture capital infrastructure would also serve Seattle well, something I’ve talked about in the past.

For example, Seattle, which boasts no income tax, has housing prices that are more than half that of the Bay Area. Meanwhile, office space is far cheaper too — but don’t tell anyone that looking for digs in South Lake Union or Pioneer Square.

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  • Mat Ellis

    Where on earth is Portland in this?

    • anon

      Portland is a fraction of the size of these other markets, except in it’s own mind (And, yes, I live in PDX).

  • Caleb

    Love Austin! No, no, I take that back. It’s terrible. Stay away. Let us have it to ourselves.

  • The Truth

    Ah, some of the finest pot-smoking cities in the US. Speaking of which, where is Portland in this?

  • lefttheraindidntwanttogoinsane

    Don’t forget sun. Trust me having just moved from Seattle to Austin. Austin stands apart..sun,far cheaper,great balance of life,tons of jobs, housing is almost 1/2 the cost..and..did I mention sun?

    • Alex Buds

      That sun will fry you in the summer though…

      • softwarejanitor

        I will gladly take the 8 months of 100+ degree weather not to have to deal with winter…

  • mar

    There is definitely a large population of mentally ill involved with the entrepreneurship/startup fad that is sweeping the nation. It is a heaven for grandiosity, arrogance, partying ,stupidity, the incredibly naïve, manipulating, lying, people who have no life but like to pretend they do, con artists, drugs, sex, elitism etc. It feeds so many sick depraved things that people want and are seduced by and throws a cloak of “but you will change the world” “you will save the world” over their shoulders as if that will justify what they are doing. Got news for you people… there already is a God… and it isn’t you! The startup entrepreneurship subculture is really nothing more then a sick cult complete with its own lingo, sick manipulative leaders with weak people desperate to fit in and willing to throw their lives away to chase rainbows and gamble and party.

    Half the companies that claim to make millions/billions have actually spent more then the company finally supposedly made but you don’t hear the truth of that. No that would mean ego deflation and realism. Not a wanted reality in the startup world.

    I have seen marriages and families break apart because of the ridiculous lure of making millions no wait its billions ! I have seen people throw a meaningful life and everyone that loves them away because they are blinded by this cult and their own stupidity, weakness, arrogance, grandiosity, desperation, addiction, mental illness, delusion, etc.. and the false meaningless high the startup entrepreneurship cult offers them.

    The startup cult is exclusive and encourages people to throw out anyone in your life that doesn’t 100% believe you are going to make billions and be a great success and get on board with everything you do. And like most cults targets the generation that is just coming out of college and trying to make a transition and is on shaky ground along with those who are desperate (this economy has produced many) And guess what? Just like drugs do not fix problems in your life but only serve to create new ones ..joining a cult doesn’t solve any problems it just creates new ones.

    And oh if you should actually have a moment of clarity and conscience …there is a Life or Business Coach or VC or financial advisor etc. that will quickly lead you back to the almighty God of startup crap… so don’t you worry you don’t really have to think for yourself… your cult doctrine and leaders will quickly do that for you and make everything okay for little inept pitiful you because for all your grandiosity and titles and “going to change the world” and arrogance and pretending, lying, and manipulating that’s all you are… pitiful and weak and so very very stupid and sick.

    • Chris Rodriguez

      You sound angry. Anger does nothing except perpetuate more anger. Woo-sah.

      Regardless of your points made, you should consider that each person controls his/her own destiny. So if a marriage was broken up because of “chasing the startup dream” that’s on the individuals, not on entrepreneurialism.

      I’m happy crushing it 50 hours a week at my full time startup job, still being a great dad and husband, and still finding time to work with side clients to make a little extra money. You should try it sometime.

    • softwarejanitor

      You sound like an unmotivated and/or talentless washout.

    • SnagHag

      i have an internet start-up and this guy ts RIGHT regarding the sick subculture of ignorant, manipulative, overly zealous zionist thinking, no-revenue model model hype machines void of any solid business principles and they do prey on people — especially commissioned salespeople to find them revenues at any cost that they could’t create with their own skills. They like to perpetuate this life avoidance culture that openly uses gladiator manipulation tactics to fuel an everything is going to be okay storyboard for the uber-techie-fab-n-rad-in-the-know-smarter-and-smugger-than-you path to being broke and miserable. We based our model on good old fashioned inside phone sales / group demo backed by value-added software we could actually sell with ROI benefits that creates real income for our uber-hardworking-professionals-with-uber-fat-bi-weekly-paychecks who are motivated by real success to actually get into our idea lab with value added ides too make our software and analytics even better. Fun culture- yes- but also customer-focused top down mindset subculture. We’re improving our customers businesses and if that changes the world — then sweet! We fill needs in the marketplace and in doing so — we make paychecks. Those paychecks improve our employees lives. Old school business ideals powered by useful technology, software, reporting, analytics and value-added marketing services. I scratch my head at many of the “successful” internet brands people hype that add no real value and make no money– but like the guy said, “they lie to their people and recruit those they can convert to their subculture and prey upon– usually for cheap labor or some other false promise of riches. MLM and Amway does the same thing. #NetworkMarketingConMen. The guy who posted before me is telling the truth.

  • tgonser

    Interesting and important data to consider, but misses totally the ‘startup environment’ factor. These are important ‘non tax’ factors. People move to some of these cities specifically to dedicate themselves to being a part of the next Big Thing. Also, the depth of VC infrastructure, coupled with highly innovative universities is key. With those considered, I think SF would be in the top 2-3.

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