Nearshore Americas

Study Declares Austin Better for Tech Firms than San Francisco

Austin has better business climate for tech startups to flourish than San Francisco, which is home to Silicon Valley, according to a study by property consulting firm Savills Plc. With modest property prices, a strong talent pool and better quality of life, Austin has risen to the top slot of Savill’s 12 best global cities for the technology industry.

Smaller cities with cleaner air and affordable housing are increasingly becoming popular with tech firms. These factors are favoring the cities like Austin, Dublin and Berlin.

“In fact, smaller cities with their significant creative population offer some things that mega cities just can’t,” the report stated. Smaller cities can help employees save time spent commuting to workplace.

Austin’s GDP is growing, as is its population and property prices. “Its stand out economic growth rivals the bigger cities and the median average age is only 31 years,” Savills states.

“Austin’s South by South West (SXSW) festival brings together film, music and tech, whilst Dublin’s Web Summit is Europe’s largest tech conference – these vibrant mixed use communities are at the center of the new tech industry spirit,” says Paul Tostevin, associate director of Savills world research.

Access to human capital is also a major driver in locating tech firms, and vibrant cities are where the talent wants to live and work. The ranking has taken into account many factors, including access to venture capital firms and the presence of quality flats and cafes in the neighborhood.

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Companies look closely at how they retain their existing talent pool, attract new talent and keep themselves ahead. The nature of their space, the areas in which they locate, the “quality of life that they can offer to their teams significantly outweigh saving a few dollars on rent,” the report noted.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • Austin no longer has a “modest cost of living.” Property taxes alone are driving professionals (engineers with 20 and 30 years of experience and high-paying jobs) out of Austin, or pushing them to distant suburbs. According to, Austin has the 51st highest cost of living in the world. (Not the US…the world.)

    Berlin is growing rapidly as a high tech center, but with a population of 4+ million it is in the top 100 largest cities in the world, so it can hardly be classified as a “smaller city,” as suggested by this article.

    This is not to say that Austin and Berlin aren’t great places to live, but please be careful to not misrepresent them.