Taxes · Cost

Interesting Infographic - Top Startup Cities - by Cost & Taxes


July 24th, 2013

Hello Everyone,

If you haven't already seen it, I thought the Founder Dating community might be interested in this infographic from Entrepreneur Magazine, which lists the top startup cities by median tech wage, income tax max, sales tax, property tax, housing cost, office/sq ft -


Devin Fee Director of Operations at Chiron Health

July 24th, 2013

There are two things I don't like about this infographic syndicated by Entrepreneur magazine: a cleverly worded, but misleading, title, and the lack of "show your work".

The first problem is that it looks like this was written to generate clicks and controversy. Austin is the "Top Startup City", and San Francisco is the worst? Well, that's not what the title says, but that's what 99% of readers will fixate on. I love living in Austin, and I am starting a company here, but if you believe this is anything more than a very well executed marketing ploy, you may want to reconsider.

The second problem is that the results aren't honest. Well, the numbers and rankings might be accurate, but I don't know by what formula the rankings were devised. What's more important, the cost of office space/square foot or the cost of an employee. Better yet, where is the money located that will fund these expenses? SF has 4x more deals done than Austin and about 6x the money invested (both statistics per capita).(

I'll close by saying that Austin is a great city, and it's where I want to build my company. There are ways to justify it's the right city for your business, but I feel that this one size fits all approach is a bit ridiculous.

Blake Caldwell

July 24th, 2013

And not including Los Angeles is silly. They are consistently ranked as a top startup city. They have California taxes, but that's not a reason to exclude them from the list. There are some glaring questions to their methodology. 


July 26th, 2013

Seeing the replies made me realize my interest was more in the metrics, rather than the actual rankings. I agree with the general sentiment that many other reasons come into play when choosing a location, which is exacly why I'm in #4-ranked NY, rather than one of the top 3.

Jonathan Goldberg President & CEO, Kimberfire Inc.

July 24th, 2013

Thank you for your message. I am currently out of the office with limited access to e-mail. I will be returning on July 25th, 2013 and will contact you promptly upon my return, if not beforehand. Best regards, Jonathan Goldberg | President/CEO | Kimberfire Inc. | 416.473.7734 | | |

Douglas Tarr Entrepreneur and Software Architect

July 24th, 2013

We moved back to the bay area from Seattle a year ago. We pay almost double per square foot and get to enjoy income tax and California's onerous corporate tax rates. Traffic is absurd and schools are underfunded. 

That said, I wouldn't trade it or go back. SF is an amazing place and this is a unique and incredible time to be here as an entrepreneur. 

David Albrecht -

July 24th, 2013

Not sure where they're getting their data but $144k seems high for the "median" tech wage in SF -- not sure how options / health insurance / sick days are accounted in that though.

It's also pretty startling that state taxes take such a large chunk out of long-term capital gains. Wow!

Devin Fee Director of Operations at Chiron Health

July 26th, 2013

Hi Chris,

Just want to follow up after seeing your response. Nothing I said was meant to be an attack on you, and if it came across that way, I apologize. The metrics themselves are interesting and notable, regardless of the controversial conclusions. Thanks for posting this. :)


March 7th, 2014

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Michal Stefanow

March 7th, 2014


These numbers are insane! :)

For that amount of money you could get so much more if you operate not in SF... (but say for instance Krakow, Poland)

John Uke

March 11th, 2014

This led into a 2 hours "should I move my startup to Austin?" tangent.  THANKS A LOT!

(decided to stay because San Francisco has the most "let's kick ass and take over the world" vibe, which is where I'm at in life right now)