How Startup Cities Could Change the World

A Government Shake-up Is Long Overdue. Are Startup Cities It?

Burgess Powell
6 min readMay 5, 2021


There is an energy to Miami and Austin that you no longer find in New York or San Francisco.

Not only are both southern cities forward-looking — but there is genuine excitement about the future, be it remote work, decentralization as technology and lifestyle, and unknown innovations to come.

In other words, Miami and Austin are startup cities.

They exist in contrast to existing bastions to wealth — notably New York and San Francisco, the latter being an OG startup city that lost its stride.

Seemingly overnight, the narrative around New York and San Francisco has shifted from painting them as eternal pillars of wealth and influence to the old guard, struggling to maintain the status quo.

This is largely thanks to people’s newfound ability to work anywhere and their newfound competitors: startup cities. Yet questions around the startup city remain. For starters, what is a startup city? And is it too late for the old stalwarts to join the flock?

startup city miami

What Is a Startup City?

A startup city is a place that is considered friendly to entrepreneurs, tech, and cryptocurrency.

Cities, states and even countries can fall into this category: Miami, Dubai, Austin, Wyoming, Colombia and Estonia are frequently cited startup-friendly cities, states, and countries, respectively.

At the heart of a startup is the idea of judging a leader based on their value proposition to their customers —or, in this case, residents. In many cases, this means less fear of change and, more tangibly, less regulation.

A startup city prioritizes experimentation, innovation, and potential failure — all while embodying a reckoning for ‘big business,’ or complacent coastal metropolises.

Like startups, some startup cities will fail, some will thrive, and all give the…



Burgess Powell

Strong opinions, loosely held. Burgess explores topics ranging from mental health to marketing to climate change.