Here’s Why Phoenix Could Be the next Silicon Valley

It’s landlocked, in the middle of the dessert, and a near 10-hour drive from Silicon Valley. But that won’t stop Phoenix from becoming the next big tech hub in America, as California grows crowded and more expensive, according to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“As a mayor, you got to tell a company, like Google, we want you here, we’re going to roll out the red carpet,” Stanton told Fortune magazine’s associate editor, Anne VanderMey, during a recent episode of Fortune Live. Stanton added that regulation is not always kind on tech companies, but in Phoenix, Stanton loves companies who want to “come in and experiment using your roads or your infrastructure.”

Uber, Yelp, and Shutterfly have recently opened offices in Phoenix, helping drive the number of tech jobs in the city up by 18.6% between 2010 and 2015.

The city’s booming tech scene is also likely to attract other businesses to settle down in Phoenix.

“It’s all coming together at the right time,” Stanton said, pointing toward to city’s new light rail, university, and new office spaces.

Venture Capital firms have increasingly been making deals with startups in the Phoenix metro area. According to PitchBook, while 74 venture capital deals were made between 2009 to 2011 for a total $332 million invested, capital raised more than doubled to 145 deals with $834 million between 2012 to 2014.

Most of the funding is likely still coming from Silicon Valley—though some venture capital firms have already opened in or around Phoenix.

That includes DesertAngels, which has invested over $37 million since 2000, and Arizona Tech Investors, which has provided $12.25 million in funding since 2007.

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