Report: S.F. Is No Longer the Top City for Tech Startups

It’s either a sigh of relief or a threat to our fundamental mission as a city, but San Francisco is no longer the most attractive spot in the world for disruption, optimization, and Ubers-for-other-stuff.

Kevin Hume, SF Examiner

San Francisco may be awash in tech scooters, crawling with robot security guards, and getting its burgers flipped by futuristic machines, but we are apparently no longer startups’ favorite city in the world to settle down and disrupt in. That’s the assessment of a global real estate company, which now ranks San Francisco as only the second-best city in the world for tech firms — after having ranked us No. 1 for the last three years in a row.   

“New York has emerged as the premier Tech City in this year’s index, overtaking San Francisco,” declares a new report from the global real estate firm Savills. “It is no coincidence that Amazon recently selected New York’s Long Island City as a location for its second headquarters.”

(The report was clearly written before news broke Friday that Amazon is considering backing out of their deal with New York City, after significant blowback over the massive public subsidies the company was offered to open offices there.)

That one case aside, San Francisco’s age-old flaws have knocked us down a notch in the eyes of real estate firms who work with with the billion-dollar venture capital tech set.   

Hannah Norman at the San Francisco Business Times writes, “San Francisco ranked particularly poorly in the report’s mobility section, ranking 12th in quality of urban infrastructure, third in shared mobility services and not even making the top 12 list for its public transit system.”

That’s no surprise to anyone who uses the San Francisco public transit system!

Still, our fair city still scores highly on the global tech rankings at No. 2 in the world. The analysis considers factors like the availability of venture capital, the cost of real estate, the available talent pool, and a nebulous category they call “City Buzz and Wellness.”

If you care, the other U.S. cities that Savills scores as the best tech hubs are Boston (No. 5), Los Angeles (No. 7), and Austin (No. 8).  

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