There has been a longstanding belief that for startups to succeed, they must be located in one of the country’s traditional Innovation Hubs. For technology, the primary hub is Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. Startup founders have flocked to this region for decades due to the success of other companies located there, the wealth of software development talent in the area, and the presence of large venture capital firms needed to fund growth.

But even as Silicon Valley has been a Mecca for technology startups, it has its drawbacks, including a high cost of living, overcrowding, and regular environmental crises such as wildfires. With an expanding number of options for building businesses elsewhere, entrepreneurs are increasingly wondering whether Silicon Valley and other high-cost Innovation Hubs like New York City are still the only places to be.

Over the last several years, in fact, a growing number of startups are being founded in areas outside of the traditional hubs. This trend is supported by technology advancements like cloud computing, which has enabled software companies in particular to rely on talent located anywhere. Software products can now be worked on collaboratively “in the cloud” without programmers being in the same room or even the same part of the country.

As young tech companies are setting up shop in emerging centers outside of the Valley, the talent pool is migrating as well, aware of newfound career opportunities in places with a lower cost of living and a better quality of life. The work-from-home paradigm created by the pandemic has accelerated this flight as more tech professionals become acquainted with telecommuting and more businesses accept it as an efficient, effective, and in some ways necessary, way to operate.

Read the full article about innovation hubs by Mark Flickinger at Forbes.