When you think of Idaho, what comes to mind? Apart from potatoes? Anything? What about a promising and vibrant new technology sector where creative young minds are flocking?
Are you looking for a promising new frontier for yourself, your business, or your creative, entrepreneurial tech ideas? You may need to look no further than beautiful, unique, and wind-swept Boise, Idaho.
History of Boise
How did Boise become an up-and-coming hub for tech? Just a few years ago, Boise was nameless in the face of nearby cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. It was beautiful, cute, and well-loved by locals, but needed ways to attract fresh new talent, and grow.
Boise State University took the bull by the horns and opened up Venture College, to help train, connect, and equip entrepreneurs seeking to break out into the tech field. This was a bold and unique move, and began to draw in talent from surrounding states, as well as from as far away as San Francisco.
Classes focused on the practical ins and outs of starting and running a successful business, and helped connect would-be business owners with the skills, resources, and people they would need to make their dreams a reality and thrive. The buzz and chill of Boise’s college town vibe in conjunction with the incredible resources being offered to start-up businesses began to garner attention.
Boise Takes Off
This growing encouragement for young minds to come and learn as well as thrive in Boise spread through the tech scene.
As more and more men and women began to feel the burn-out in more expensive and higher-crime Western cities, start-ups began hunting for potential new homes, even before the pandemic.
Population growth began to jump as the search for more affordable homes, beautiful environments, and great places to raise a family began.
The presence of a strong University life, and the entrepreneurial college began to attract attention, as did the small-city vibe and close-knit culture of the town.
More young people began to flock there from coastal cities, as word of mouth reviews of the city’s charm and offerings to tech companies spread. Middle-aged business people with families also found Boise appealing; a much smaller city means a very short commute time.
Instead of spending hours on a congested highway in Los Angeles, one can zip to work in minutes, and be back home fairly early, too. The work-life balance is juts much better, and the beauty of Boise attracts families, as well.
There are few things as charming and appealing to many start-ups as the combination of College-town culture and affordability. As better-known cities like Portland and San Francisco struggle with rising drug and homelessness issues, Boise remains charming, safe, creative, and is surrounded by rolling plains, nature trails, and mountains.
The appeal of learning at Boise State University and then staying on to build one’s career also can’t be understated. So, while new minds are pouring in from out of state, many students with an interest in STEM are finding the idea of staying on in their alma mater’s home city to be optimal, and desirable.
The drive to encourage innovation is already there, as is a local government dedicated to helping start-ups thrive. Boise also boasts a thriving and growing arts scene, and a charming and vibrant downtown. There’s not much here that’s not to love, and the culture and beauty of Boise is at least as much of a drive as the economic and business opportunities.
Cost of Living in Boise
Another factor attracting businesses to Boise is the relatively low cost of living. As more expensive popular Western and Mid-Western cities see an exodus of people, smaller cities are gaining in popularity.
There is less crowding, more affordable housing, cheaper homes, and generally a safer atmosphere, as well. For fledgling tech companies, it’s a new world, and paying less for basics means that more capitol can be invested in projects, business, connections, and innovation.
When you have more to spend overall, your quality of life tends to go up, and this combined with more leisure time overall makes for a much more appealing environment when compared to Manhattan or Portland. While housing prices in Boise have slowly climbed, they are still cheaper than homes or apartments in rival cities.
Nature and Outdoor life in Boise
While the beauty of the surrounding landscape may not seem like a reason for a tech startup to choose Boise, there is so much that nature, and easy access to hiking and biking can offer everyone. The constant hum and buzz of city life can be draining.
Everyone, no matter how focused on or enthusiastic about technology needs the opportunity to unwind, reconnect with their senses, and enjoy down time in the natural world. Boise offers that.
In fact, Boise is one of the best cities in America for biking and for hiking, is surrounded by lovely mountains and hills, and has an immense wealth of beauty to offer residents.
Recharging in nature can be one of the most inspiring and rejuvenating exercises available to entrepreneurs, and a host of new STEM ideas over the years have arisen thanks to inspiration from the natural world. This focus on both technology and the outdoors make Boise a truly unique and appealing location for businesses and individuals.
As tech companies, startups, and STEM-focused young entrepreneurs begin to seek out greener pastures for their ideas and futures, Boise continues to stand out as a promising city on the rise. It offers University life, a thriving downtown, and has a host of intelligent and tech-savvy young people working together to help drive the future.
Its welcome mat is out to businesspeople, families, start-ups, students, and innovators alike. Boise is a high-tech city nestled in the wild mountains of Idaho, and truly offers something for everyone.
It’s forward-thinking, beautiful, more affordable, and actively seeks to work with start-ups to help them gain traction, visibility, funding, and a future. Will Boise be the next Silicon Valley? This remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a rising star, and deserves serious consideration from anyone seeking to build a business in the STEM world.