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DC Ranks Third Among the Nation’s Top Tech Towns

Surprised? Don’t be. Here’s why.

DC ranks as the nation’s third most powerful tech hub, according to the first edition of Cushman & Wakefield’s Tech Cities 1.0 report.

Ken McCarthy, Cushman & Wakefield’s New York-based Principal Economist and Applied U.S. Research Lead, states that “tech is in everything.” If cities don’t adopt tech and evolve with it, they’ll fall behind.

“Basically every company today is a tech company in one way or another. We’re all using it, we’re using various aspects of tech companies to do various things,” Mr. McCarthy explains. “Whether it’s Salesforce as customer relationship management, or Workday for HR, and various other database programs, the old way of doing business just doesn’t work anymore.”

DC won this honor with a strong performance in each of the metrics that these questions measure:

  • How many higher learning institutions can you find in the city, which attract young talent, provide research, and lead to the creation of new companies?
  • How much venture capital is floating in the city to drive startups through the phases of growth?
  • How many tech workers are employable that understand the requirements of the sector?
  • How many knowledge workers are available to support technology-focused companies in fields like marketing, education, and healthcare accounting fields?
  • How many of the local employees have a high level of education, defined as a bachelor’s degree or higher, to power the growth of companies?
  • How many entrepreneurs are creating powerhouse companies that create new jobs for the city?

DC has built a sizeable presence in life sciences and government. It’s also an attractive outpost for tech companies who need proximity to policymakers, and those investing in the blossoming cyber-security field. Think tanks and anchor institutions like Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, and Howard University have also guaranteed a plethora of young minds who are ready to work.

DC lost the top honors to two cities on the left coast. San Jose took the top honor as the home of Silicon Valley. San Francisco/San Mateo, CA won second. Fourth place is the Boston/Cambridge area.

Report co-author and Northwest Regional Director of U.S. Research at Cushman & Wakefield, Robert Sammons, said that while it’s expected to see San Jose and San Francisco at the top, there are issues that will lead to a tumble down the list. Mass-transit issues and escalating housing costs will lead a tech diaspora into secondary markets such as Austin (no. 7), Denver (no. 8), San Diego (no. 9), and Salt Lake City (no. 24).

Read the report in more detail here.