Move over Silicon Valley because the Silicon Desert is here. Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona, home to beautiful desert landscapes, warm weather, art and culture, and now startups. Several companies, like GoDaddy, Tuft & Needle, InfusionSoft, and many more have chosen the Valley of the Sun to house their headquarters. As the 6th largest city in the United States, Phoenix is always buzzing with life and it’s not hard to see why! The rest of this article will outline why Phoenix is the place to be.
Phoenix is often regarded as one of the best places to work, live, and play, making it the perfect location to start a business. The low cost of living is extremely attractive. Rent in Phoenix is drastically lower than its California neighbor. According to LoopNet, which provides real estate market trends throughout the country, the average rental rate per square foot per year for an office space in San Francisco, as of March 2016, is $99.91. The average rental rate in Phoenix is $18.61. Arizona is also constantly taking measures to create an environment that is business friendly. The state has lowered taxes, simplified regulations, and offers several packages and incentives that were designed with businesses in mind, helping to achieve their goal of creating a pro-business setting. Businesses can take their money saving on rent or through these incentives and invest it elsewhere. To learn more about these incentives, click here.
Another reason why businesses are flocking to the valley is that Phoenix is paving the way in innovation. Arizona State University was ranked number one in innovation, followed by Stanford and MIT. Arizona State University provides numerous opportunities for its students to excel in entrepreneurship. By backing several projects, exploring new ways of teaching, and providing their students with the courses they need to succeed, ASU is cranking out eager and innovative graduates.
Local support is another contributing factor. In 2015, Phoenix Startup Week was launched to encourage entrepreneurial support. Hundreds of current and future entrepreneurs from all across the valley attend this week long event to foster meaningful relationships, learn from their successful peers, and gain insight. This annual showcase has been wildly successful. There’s also the annual SciTech Festival, which celebrates science and technology in Arizona. This festival promotes education and innovation in hopes of encouraging current and future generations to continue learning and help to protect and develop Arizona’s economy. Check out highlights from this year’s festival here.
On the same note, StartUpAZ Foundation was also created to support young businesses and entrepreneurs in the valley. Part of the Arizona Community Foundation, StartUpAZ focuses on three pillars, connectivity, capital, and talent, in order to cultivate growth among young businesses. By taking a pledge, businesses can support other local businesses. StartUpAZ also offers scholarships and grants to help get the ball rolling for new concepts and companies. This kind of support is directly translated into success, and is what sets Phoenix apart from other job markets.
Phoenix, Arizona is becoming a hot spot for commercial growth. From low costs of living to strong entrepreneurial support, Phoenix has everything a growing business could ever need to thrive. Whether they started here or decided to relocate to the Silicon Desert, many organizations have already found their home in the valley. Which makes us wonder, who is next?
If you still don’t believe that Phoenix is the best fit for start-ups, take it straight from the horse’s mouth and check out this article by Tuft & Needle founders Dahee Park and JT Marino.
-Written by Amy Pope