While Silicon Valley and New York City are often assumed to be the best locations in the US to launch a technology company, a study released in September 2014 by financial advisory SmartAsset found that Omaha, Nebraska, is the best US city for tech start-ups to take root.
Greater Omaha is home to the headquarters of 10 Fortune 1000 companies, including five that are on the Fortune 500 list – Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific, ConAgra Foods, Peter Kiewit Sons and Mutual of Omaha. A big draw is the fact that internet speeds average 35.6 megabytes per second – 50% higher than the national average. Further benefits of the region include the low cost of living, which is almost half that of San Francisco and less than half that of New York City. Despite this, only 3.85% of Omaha workers are currently employed in the tech sector.
SmartAsset ranked 200 US locations of various size in its study. The firm collected data on average wages for all workers, average wages for tech workers and the percentage of workers employed in tech from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. It also looked at the cost of living index for each city from the Census Bureau.
The rest of the top five comprises Colorado Springs, Colorado in second position, Huntsville, Alabama in third, Dallas, Texas in fourth and Springfield, Illinois in fifth. Colorado Springs was awarded second place because of its historic military ties, major defence contractors, and non-profit Space Foundation, which is dedicated to raising money to continue human exploration of outer space. The cost of living in Colorado Springs is also low and 5% of all employees there work in tech.