Tech disruption happens geographically as much as it happens across industries.
Portland, now known in the tech community as “Silicon Forest,” is becoming a big draw for developers as Bay Area high rents make Silicon Valley – arguably the most hallowed of startup ecosystems – less attractive.
As an indication of the trend, the region’s talent pool grew 28 percent between 2010 and 2013, compared to 20.8 percent in Silicon Valley.
Portland’s affordability is major factor behind the growth experienced in the high tech sector, and resulting increased salaries are contributing back to the city’s wealth. And this benefits the U.S. Pacific Northwest as a whole.
While prospective migrants are attracted to the low cost of living and work-life balance offered by the region, Portland and Seattle, it’s neighbor to the north, are benefitting from employee exits at tech giants.
A tech ecosystem map from Madrona Venture Capital demonstrates how the University of Washington, Amazon, Microsoft and other notable contributors to the ecosystem have spurred the creation of startups, including now established Real Networks and Expedia.
With Google setting up a larger office space in Portland, this trend should continue to bolster the region’s startup prowess and ability to compete with other tech ecosystems around the world.