When people think of San Diego, they picture perfect weather, surf and a laidback group of locals enjoying life in the sun. But what many don’t realize is that San Diego is also home to a competitive and thriving tech community that continues to grow.
In recent years, tech companies, including my own, SnapNHD, have been appearing all over the city. From those who specialize in website design, to teams building cutting edge apps or pushing the boundaries of virtual reality, San Diego is becoming home to a number of new startups and more established tech companies choosing to relocate from San Francisco. Here are four reasons why:
1. Qualified applicants.
San Diego has several excellent local colleges. San Diego State University, University of San Diego and University of California San Diego (UCSD) all provide a steady stream of motivated graduates that lessen the challenge of finding talent in the market. In fact, UCSD has one of the most respected computer science programs in the country and has experienced extreme grown in the past year with 2,000 plus undergraduates making it the largest department of its kind in the University of California system.
2. Office space.
Although no one would say that real estate in San Diego is inexpensive, it’s much cheaper than San Francisco. And where inventory is extremely limited in the Bay Area, companies in San Diego are able to find spots all over the city that are both affordable, provide a sense of atmosphere and have space to grow. This is one of the reasons that, in 2016, Mashable picked San Diego as one of the top four cities “luring startups away from Silicon Valley.”
3. The community.
Despite being a major metro area, San Diego still has a small town feel when it comes to meeting people. This serves as a huge advantage, as it’s easier to find ways to connect with the local leaders and entrepreneurs that shape the city and may even offer to mentor. And the tech community itself is a small, but vocal, world in San Diego. Events such as “Start-up Week” foster a healthy sense of competition between peers and open the door for new networking and connections.
4. Quality of life.
While most employees in tech related fields will readily admit to being a bit more tied to their computers and jobs than they should be, most do eventually need to go home at some point. And when they do, life in San Diego offers more affordable housing than the bay area, some of the better commute times in the country and plenty of local culture.
So while some may continue to underestimate San Diego, it will continue to quietly grow as a tech hub for those seeking a quieter, more affordable alternative to Silicon Valley.