Home Top 10 San Francisco Startup Neighborhoods

Top 10 San Francisco Startup Neighborhoods

While we have chronicled some of the best cities around the globe for startups to set-up shop, the San Francisco area is still the promised land for Internet entrepreneurship. Others come close, but no other city can match the vibrant atmosphere that flourishes in the Bay Area, but what are the best neighborhoods for tapping into the startup ecosystem? Posterous co-founder Garry Tan has sought to solve this problem for San Francisco newcomers by creating an interactive Google map detailing the area’s top 10 startup camps.

Tan provides complete coverage of the area, from Mountain View in the south to Berkeley in the north east. His selections were based on three criteria that he believes to be the most pertinent to young startups: proximity to other startups, access to food, and access to public transportation. There are neighborhoods for entrepreneurs on a tight budget, those who have some cash already rolling in, or those who simply enjoy movies and Japanese food.

Starting in the north, Tan recommends Berkeley “for foodie hackers who don’t mind being far from [Silicon Valley].” The college town is just a short trip on the BART from downtown San Francisco, and the student population is an excellent source of cheap labor, says Tan. The other benefit of the East Bay which Tan leaves out is that the area tends to be a few degrees warmer than San Francisco which is known for chilling fog during the summer months.

There are three areas of downtown San Francisco that Tan suggests for startups: expensive SoMa, cheaper SoMa and The Mission. SoMa is ground zero for Web 2.0 startups like Twitter, and depending on where you look, there are certainly affordable parts for younger companies. The Mission, the home of Posterous and many others, is “recommended for awesome people,” says Tan.

Working his way down the bay toward San Jose, Tan points out seven neighborhoods along the all important train lines, stopping first in Millbrae, which he says is an in-between commuter staging area for San Francisco. The other areas include San Mateo, Menlo Park and both higher and lower end regions of Palo Alto and Mountain View where companies like Facebook and Google reside.

Tan’s map is a great resource for startups and entrepreneurs looking into loading up a U-Haul and finding a place in the Bay Area. Truth be told, however, anywhere in the region is likely to provide companies with that boost of startup buzz that emanates throughout the area. If San Francisco is too far or too expensive, be sure to review our Never Mind the Valley series for other great communities around the world where similar atmospheres exist.

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