The 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020
Come for brand names. Stay for the startup scene--and the beach.
No. 7 RATE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
No. 7 HIGH-GROWTH COMPANY DENSITY
No. 7 EARLY-STAGE FUNDING DEALS
In 2018, much of San Diego's near-record $2.5 billion in venture capital funding went to life sciences and biotech businesses. These industries are still the main attraction in this beach town, but San Diego’s nascent tech scene is picking up, thanks largely to two new area venture firms--Blueprint Equity and Torrent Ventures--and local tech giant Qualcomm’s corporate venture fund, which is putting $100 million into A.I. companies.
While the area’s universities generate a lot of smart, young talent, midlevel managers skilled at helping fledgling ventures get to the next level are in short supply. That could change with the arrival of outposts from Apple, Amazon, and Walmart Labs. “For a long time, Qualcomm has been the big brand name here, but when you get the Apples and Amazons [opening offices] in town, people are going to chase the brand names,” says Neal Bloom, a local entrepreneur who runs Fresh Brewed Tech, a site about San Diego’s tech community.
The hope is that while new talent may come to the city for the bigger brand names, they’ll eventually stay for the startup scene--and the beach. --Lindsay Blakely