4 U.S. Regions Rivaling Silicon Valley

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The following is a reposted Mashable article by Stephanie Walden. Full credit and acknowledgment is given to the author. Photos are not part of the original article. Article has been shortened for conciseness. Original article can be found here.

"The next Silicon Valley" may seem like the name of a reality television series.

In all seriousness, the competition to claim the title of America's Next Big Tech Hub is just as fierce as anything you might see on The Bachelor. As many startups promote themselves as "the Uber of" or "the Airbnb of" their respective industries, many cities around the U.S. aim to align with the hotbed of tech and startup activity that defines Silicon Valley.

But Silicon Valley is experiencing a bit of an identity crisis. While it's certainly still an attractive destination for any company seeking to insert the term "innovative" into its brand strategy, intense competition and the real estate boom present huge obstacles for tech companies seeking to set up shop or build from the ground up. In 2014, Coldwell Banker named Los Altos, California the most expensive real estate market in the U.S., with an average home price of nearly $2 million; rental costs for both businesses and individuals are also skyrocketing.

Below, we've outlined four more affordable regions in the U.S. that may prove competitors to the Valley's longstanding title of America's tech mecca.

  1. Austin, Texas

  2. The Research Triangle-8 County Region that consists of the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill cities in North Carolina.

  3. South Florida

In 2015, Kauffman Index ranked Miami the number two city in the nation for startup activity. By 2016, Miami entrepreneur and Social Media Day South Florida founder and organizer Alex de Carvalho wants to bring the city to the number one spot. He's pushing this effort through strategic partnerships with organizations such as EventCrowd, Spanish-language broadcasting company Univision and seed fund/accelerator 500 Startups.

The South Florida region, which consists of cities like Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in addition to the Magic City, is experiencing an especially noticeable boost in startup activity in the healthcare arena. A 2014 Wall Street Journal article deemed Miami a burgeoning tech hub, explaining that the city provides invaluable access to the Latin American demographic — an increasingly attractive market for businesses seeking to expand on a global scale.

The downtown area of Miami is also undergoing a major renovation to its skyline as the city attempts to become a hot spot for more than just its world-renowned nightlife: New skyscrapers that will house thousands of square feet of office space are in the works as part of the Brickell City Centre project.

Why tech companies should set up shop: Tropical weather and tax incentives aren't the only appeals of South Florida for technology startups. Proximity to Latin America and a burgeoning tech scene make South Florida a prominent player on this list. (The palm trees don't hurt the appeal, either.)

4. Colorado

Esteban GuioBusiness