Here’s How to Find the Next Silicon Valley

There is no shortage of places vying to become the next Silicon Valley. Pick your times zone and climate, they span across the U.S. Whether New York, Boston, Texas, Southern California or Colorado, each has advocates claiming its tech sector is about to get really hot.

Let’s say you’re planning a career move, already live in Northern California and want to geographically position yourself to be in the Next Big Place. Where should you move?

According to new research from researcher CB Insights, the answer is: Move even closer to Silicon Valley. Based on venture capital activity, the company believes that the next Silicon Valley is likely to be… Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley Funding vs Other Tech Hubs

Why is that? Because despite some recent softness, the Valley continues to attract almost half of all venture capital technology deals and more than half of all funding.

Among other finds, CBI reports that tech sector deal levels during the first half of 2013 were 10 percent higher than the same period of 2012, and 21 percent higher than H1 of 2011. Year over year, deal activity there rose 19 percent. And while VC tech funding in the area dipped during 2012’s fourth quarter, it’s turned around.

Silicon Valley VC Funding

The Valley’s biggest competitor is New York, where the volume of tech deals has grown steadily over the last three years. CB Insights attributes New York’s performance to, in part, the emergence of a strong group of New York-centric investors.

None of this means a career can’t be made in other markets. Each has something to recommend it, whether successful local companies (Washington), the SXSW scene (Austin), great skiing (Colorado), the entertainment industry (Southern California) or being the world’s business capital (New York again).

If these other markets don’t have the same frenetic tech and financial cultures of Silicon Valley and New York, they do offer benefits. Competition for jobs is often less intense and work-life balance may be easier to obtain. And, it’s worth remembering that VC deals are not tech’s be-all and end-all. They are, however, a good measure of startup activity and investor interest.

In the end, though, only New York has anything approaching the deal flow necessary to become a serious competitor to Silicon Valley. So, if you’re in the Valley already – and can afford the home prices – you may want to stay put.

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