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September 04, 2014
By Lisa Dare

TechCrunch Disrput 2014

Monday kicks off TechCrunch Disrupt, a storied event in the tech community where cutting-edge startups compete for prize money and the attention (and wallets) of venture capitalists. Disrupt’s speakers include’s CEO Marc Benioff, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, tech billionaire Vinod Khosla, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and startup genius (and 30-year-old billionaire) Elizabeth Holmes. The tech conference also kicks off with a 24-hour hackathon, in which Redbull-fueled engineers have a day to write code for a new product.

A Google engineer in the White House

Let’s congratulate Megan Smith, the new chief technology officer for the White House. Smith, a former head of Google’s secretive X Lab division, is an MIT engineering grad. She’ll be joined by former Chief Counsel at Twitter Alexander Macgillivray as deputy CTO. The pair will focus on advancing the U.S.’s technology innovation mission.

All roads lead to Silicon Valley … through really expensive tolls

JLL reports that Silicon Valley office real estate costs have gone through the roof; in Palo Alto, rents have risen to nearly three times the national average—but startups and tech giants alike are willing to pay the price, because of the area's abundance of talented tech pros. And in acknowledgement that great IT people are essential to success, companies are coughing up hefty salaries, too: the average San-Francisco-area tech worker makes nearly $200,000 a year.

JLL lists a few other places where a focus on technology is helping the local economy flourish. These innovation hubs include:

  • Detroit: The troubled city is trying to make its way back with high-tech automotive innovation
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: Unsurprisingly, banking hub Charlotte concentrates on creating financial technology
  • LA: Another obvious one, LA is a center of entertainment tech, including video game makers
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: The city is looking to draw companies with its profusion of STEM grads and low taxes
  • Orlando and South Florida: Florida cities are cultivating and attracting tech companies with startup accelerators and (for real) nice weather

Interested in reading more? Check out last week's Friday fun for the IT crowd to learn about sophisticated commuting apps that may take some of the sting out of September's traffic surge. 

Lisa Dare is a marketing writer for TEKsystems who enjoys learning about IT from some of the smartest folks in tech (seriously, these folks are scary-smart). Lisa frequently blogs about IT career advice and the lighter side of tech.

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