Inc. put out an article for the top 6 cities that would win Amazon HQ2. They include Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington DC.
Some highlights include…
- Atlanta – strong network of talent for other company headquarters. Mass transit and airport. Lower cost of living.
- Chicago – Central US location. The drawback is city and state financial problems. [I relocated from Illinois, trust me, those issues are huge!]. City has offered $1.32 billion in income taxes collected from Amazon workers back to the company.
- Austin – Whole Foods in from Austin. Friendly with businesses.
- Philadelphia – Eastern hub. Areas include Universities.
- Boston – Home to major Universities. Strong in Machine Learning and AI.
- Washington DC – Young and educated workforce.
My Take: While most of this points are correct, Atlanta actually has all of the other cities strong points as well. Central location, friendly with businesses with purpose (look at the film industry). The fact that Amazon Video is now a huge part of the business and making films and TV is a Made in Georgia thing is being overlooked. The Universities of Georgia Tech and Emory, as well as many other colleges and Universities, will keep them strong as most areas. Yes, machine learning and AI is big in Boston but they could also tap into the program at Georgia Tech. Diversity and a location that has a lower cost of living that people don’t mind moving and relocating to are important for Atlanta.