San Jose is Awesome for Startups

Known as the “Capital” of Silicon Valley, San Jose is one of the most innovative and impressive startup cities in the country.

With two dozen Fortune 500 companies – including some of the world’s largest high-tech operations like Apple, Cisco Systems, and eBay – the San Jose region also leads the nation in patent filings.

This year, San Jose was ranked as the third best metropolitan area for startups by The Kauffman Index, a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. It held the No. 1 position the previous year.

San Jose’s business environment succeeds in large part due to strong ties between the region’s universities, financiers and government. Programs like the San Jose/Silicon Valley Emerging Technology Innovation Hub (or iHub) push for even greater collaboration to increase entrepreneurism, jobs, and research funding.

Map of San Jose, Silicon Valley area of California, with red push pin

Map of San Jose, Silicon Valley area of California, with red push pin

Roughly 2,000 entrepreneurs recently participated in The Startup Conference in nearby Redwood City to learn how to pitch to investors, find co-founders, and launch their products.

San Jose also offers incubators such as the San Jose BioCube, a life sciences facility and innovation hub for early-stage and high-potential companies, and Spartups, a three-month program that helps entrepreneurs with customer development, revenue and product development strategies.

Like most of California, housing is expensive in San Jose. This contributes to its being the fourth most expensive place to live in the U.S., according to

Cradling the south end of Monterey Bay, housing costs in San Jose are roughly two-and-a-half times the national average. But San Jose also has the country’s highest median household income. At $80,764 a year, that’s well above the national average of roughly $54,000.

San Jose’s high salaries are an endorsement of its emphasis on education. Identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as one of the Top Ten “Most Educated Largest Metro Areas” in the country, San Jose has a world-class workforce and concentration of talent.

More than 35 percent of its labor force has a bachelor’s degree or higher and the metropolitan area has several outstanding academic institutions, including Stanford University and the University of California Berkley.

San Jose also has a number of workforce investment boards, including Nova Workforce Development, that work closely with local businesses, educators, and job seekers to build the knowledge and skills needed for Silicon Valley’s businesses.

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Caren Burmeister is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.