Here's Why San Francisco Has So Many Startups Now

San Francisco startup map

Photo: Owen Thomas, Business Insider

San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee is obsessed with his city’s burgeoning startup scene.In fact, he visits a startup every Tuesday, he said in an on-stage interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

It might seem obvious to think of San Francisco as a congenial place for new tech companies. But a decade ago, San Francisco seemed consigned to being a bedroom community for Silicon Valley’s office parks. Since then, Salesforce.com exploded and Twitter, and Zynga got started.

Just last month, Pinterest moved from Palo Alto to San Francisco, in a sign of local startups’ increasing preference for the city over suburban locations.

Here’s Lee’s secret for cultivating those startups: When he goes to a company, he spends 15 minutes talking to employees.

“If the talent is happy, the companies will stay,” Lee said.

San Francisco also launched an interactive map of all the startups in town. The total: 800.

That’s a lot of startups.

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