When considering where to develop and launch a startup, many people think of Silicon Valley located in San Fransisco, California. Although many startups make it big in Silicon Valley, there are other up and coming cities that you should research and consider when trying to decide on planting a startup. Here are five cities that are Black startup-friendly that you shouldn’t overlook:
Not only is over 50 percent of Atlanta’s population Black, but the city has a growing Black founder population and is also home to major corporations like Coca Cola and The Home Depot. Startups like The Gathering Spot — an exclusive membership-based club for diverse collaboration — are providing Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta with the tools they need to succeed and a safe space for collaboration.
According to Inc., Co-Founder, Jewel Burks Solomon ditched Silicon Valley to start Partpic — a smartphone technology that allows customers to visually search for replacement parts. She decided to base her tech startup out of Atlanta and later sold the company to Amazon for an undisclosed amount.
In the 1900’s the Black district of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma was home to one of the first thriving self-sustained Black economies. Equipped with luxury hotels, restaurants, a hospital, and school system, Greenwood was where Black entrepreneurs went to be successful in business. Today Tulsa is on the rise again with organizations like Black Women Business Owners of Tulsa that help Black women navigate the ins and outs of starting a business.
Memphis is on the come up! It is a great city for small business owners because of its economic opportunities. According to Best Places, their cost of living is significantly lower than the U.S. average. These statistics suggest Memphis’ economy is prime for startups and small businesses. Memphis is also home to many cultural attractions such as Black Restaurant Week.
In the 2017 special Senate election, Black women showed up and showed out to elect Democratic candidate Doug Jones into office. The voter support led NBA legend, Charles Barkley, to pledge $1 million towards Black women startups in the state of Alabama. Alabama is also home to the Alabama State Black Chamber of Commerce and a host of affiliate chambers across the state.
Durham, North Carolina
Durham hosted the first annual Black Founders Exchange, a summit backed by Google where Black founders came together to network and learn how to advance their startups. Many successful Black tech startups like Optimal Solar — an exclusive provider of the highest efficiency solar module in the world — also call Durham home.