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Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Old Jan 6th 2015, 9:25 pm
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Default Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

I'm scouting out some locations for a 2-3 person US office for my UK business.

For comparison, I've found secondary cities in England like Brighton or Bristol to be particular good for setting up a small business because:

- Good universities and lots of graduates milling around after university
- attractive cities to live with good life/work/urban/rural balance
- Strong local freelancer/small business scene and entrepreneurial vibe.
- Relatively cheap wages and office rents compared to capital cities.
- Short commute to major city when needed.

So which US cities would you consider to be in the same kind of category?
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Not sure, perhaps somewhere like the Raleigh, Durham Chapel Hill NC triangle or other college towns? Austin Tx?
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Some on top of my head:

Austin
Charlotte
Columbus, OH
Durham-Raleigh, NC
Nashville, TN
Salt Lake City

And I would add Baltimore, Detroit-Ann Arbor and St. Louis. Those are "rough" cities but have other pluses (good universities, low cost of living, proximity to other cities - Baltimore -, major airport - Detroit -).
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

And another vote for Austin. Never been myself (well - passed through on a train ) but heard from a few sources it's the new tech town, plus vibrant for nightlife.
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Old Jan 6th 2015, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Boston would hit all those requirements, apart from cheap wages and rent.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Fargo. N.D.

So are you in the US? You said you bought a ticket to look at offices in S.F. this week?
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Austin!!!

- Good universities and lots of graduates milling around after university yes but the CS grads are earning megabucks and getting loads of job offers before they finish
- attractive cities to live with good life/work/urban/rural balance yes but.....fairly pricey to live in a great neighbourhood - even more expensive downtown
- Strong local freelancer/small business scene and entrepreneurial vibe. no buts!!
- Relatively cheap wages and office rents compared to capital cities. Nope. Austin is a capital city. If you want good people then join the queue and expect to pay.
- Short commute to major city when needed. why would you ever go to Houston or Dallas???

I really like it here, it is very business friendly in Texas and it seems almost everyone we meet here in Austin has a side business doing something else, even if it is just renting out their wooden shack in downtown austin for $$$$
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Austin!!!

- Good universities and lots of graduates milling around after university yes but the CS grads are earning megabucks and getting loads of job offers before they finish
- attractive cities to live with good life/work/urban/rural balance yes but.....fairly pricey to live in a great neighbourhood - even more expensive downtown
- Strong local freelancer/small business scene and entrepreneurial vibe. no buts!!
- Relatively cheap wages and office rents compared to capital cities. Nope. Austin is a capital city. If you want good people then join the queue and expect to pay.
- Short commute to major city when needed. why would you ever go to Houston or Dallas???

I really like it here, it is very business friendly in Texas and it seems almost everyone we meet here in Austin has a side business doing something else, even if it is just renting out their wooden shack in downtown austin for $$$$
Everything is relative. Austin in all aspects is significantly less expensive including salaries than the SF bay area.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Everything is relative. Austin in all aspects is significantly less expensive than the SF bay area.
Yes Michael.......but the tech crowd is moving here and pushing up prices. You should read the comments in the local Austin forum, locals are not happy. They want the higher wages but not the house price inflation!

I think Austin is a more expensive place to live than Bristol (I know Bristol fairly well) but it is much nicer!!
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Yes Michael.......but the tech crowd is moving here and pushing up prices. You should read the comments in the local Austin forum, locals are not happy. They want the higher wages but not the house price inflation!

I think Austin is a more expensive place to live than Bristol (I know Bristol fairly well) but it is much nicer!!
Yes but if someone wants to be involved in hi-tech other than a small shop in the US, it almost has to be either the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, Boston, Phoenix, Austin, or Raleigh Durham and the first three are expensive.

The SF bay area has several advantages over the others. It gets over 50% of the venture capital funding for the entire US, new funded hi-tech startups occur daily, there are a massive amount of hi-tech workers but a company has to figure out a way of getting the good ones, and most of the big successful startups (ex. Facebook) move to the bay area even if that was not where it originally started up. It has the big disadvantage of being very expensive.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 4:56 am
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

I guess I'm unusual but I loathe Austin, the classical Austin is now a roadworks nightmare and thousands of homeless people, very little parking...Sixth St is a far cry from a decade ago...and the new developments are expensive 'anywhere-USA' style gated communities and malls and strip to the north. Apparently the planners decided not to grow Austin infrastructure to keep the character or something, but people kept coming anyway.

My son lives there so I've been a lot lately- traffic and driving is awful. I'm looking for an investment property there but it's not great eg 2 bed 2 bath condo Downtown Austin $625K. Not even great rental value in that- I could buy a nice 6 bed 4.5 bath house to rent to students for that here in H-town.

My friend did just buy a nice 'cottage' near Lake Travis ( well about 2 miles away ) @ $162K which is better value than in town, and do people in technology really need to be in town to do business like students have to be there in place to study ( so far ) ?

I'd prefer Houston culturally and business-wise myself, and it's still a good time to buy property here before our prices sky-rocket since people also decided to move here in droves!

And within easy business reach of Austin and DFW.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

Recommend considering NC Triangle.

Having lived in Bristol and Brighton, imho Chapel Hill/Carrboro has similar feel to Brighton, Durham to Bristol...well, perhaps that's stretching it

Tech is a major driver of the local economy. There are start-ups, but is perhaps second tier to Bay area, Austin and Boston.

Certainly has a lower cost of living than SF or Boston, not sure about Austin.

Raleigh is a reasonably "major" city; Charlotte is a couple of hours away, DC about 4-5 hours.
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

According to you previous comments you're in SF this week? Or was that a fleeting plan as well?
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

San Fran is by the sea?

Bristol was a bit of a dump, has it changed?
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Old Jan 7th 2015, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Good city for a digital biz in USA, similar to Bristol or Brighton

I am personally moving to Albuquerque for the low COL, good weather year round with low humidity, excellent regional food, close proximity to other western cities and rich historical culture. I work entirely online, so the poor local job market wouldn't affect me at all. I don't know if I can recommend it to you, as ABQ isn't for everyone. It's in the middle of the desert and quite brown.

OP, perhaps a Google Fiber city would suit you. It's free, ultra-high speed internet sponsored by Big G.

https://fiber.google.com/ourcities/
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