Business Week published in its Sept 11 edition a two-factor ranking of 300 areas in the US as tech hubs. Unfortunately, it is only available in the print edition. I have extracted approximations of the data by measuring the dots on image of the chart directly. Sacramento rates reasonably well. Here is what I extracted.
The two factors BW used are measures of the “techiness” of a region and its “livability”. “Techiness” is based on nine measures: Rates of college education, number of science and engineering majors, number of top universities, HQs of big tech companies, amount of VC investment, share of computer/IT jobs in the total job count, broadband saturation rates, number of independent coffee shops, and ease of commuting by bike, public transit, and on foot. “Livability” is based on affordability of housing, length of commute drive times, and relative income equality. Converting to a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (worst), Silicon Valley itself rates a 10 on techiness and a 1.7 on livability. San Francisco holds down the worst score of 1 on livability, and a techiness rank of 7.65.
Sacramento gets a score of 2.34 on techiness and 4.5 on livability. For comparison, Boston gets 4.6 on techiness and 3.3 on livability. Napa and Santa Rosa rate better than Sacramento on techiness, but worse on livability. Phoenix is worse on techiness, better on livability. Sacramento is often compared to Austin, Texas, as a rival. I couldn’t find that on the chart, unfortunately. Another close rival, Boulder is much better on techiness at 6.0, and a bit worse on livability at 4.1.
One shouldn’t dig for deep meanings in rankings like this, since one could quibble with the input data and the choice of measures that were used, but it is an interesting picture of where Sacramento roughly fits in the universe of tech hubs right now.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.