9 Warm Startups Scenes to Visit

February 24, 2015

9:00 am

February is about that time when you get fed up with winter and want to peace out to someplace warm – sayonara, polar vortex!

Luckily, many entrepreneurs can do just that, as long as you bring your laptop along with you. It’s easy to stay holed up next to your heater with a hot beverage, but why not spend a few weeks in the sun?

We’ve compiled a list of nine warm startup scenes you might like to visit this winter, including three in the US, three in Latin America, and three in Asia. Below, you can find out more information about exactly how warm and lovely it is there, how much it costs per month, and how to get plugged into the local community.

Pack the sunglasses, it’s time to get a tan!

United States

1. Miami

Warm startup scenes - Miami

  • Current temperature: 63-83 F (today’s low and high) 
  • Cost: $2,877/month (NomadList)

Sunny and warm, Miami serves as the literal and figurative gateway to Latin America. Not only does the majority of top-level Internet traffic from Latin America route through here, but 64.5% of the county’s population is Hispanic or Latino. Many local entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions for Latin America and beyond, as attention from the public and investors grows.

If you decide to spend some time in Miami, get plugged in at one of the city’s many coworking spaces like Buro, The LAB Miami, Pipeline Brickell, Caffeine Spaces, SOBE WorkSpaces, RightSpace2Meet, Axis Space, Building.co, Keyworking, Miami Shared, Planet Linux, Skye Studios, WeWork Miami, MEC261, Doral Business Lounge, City Desk Miami, The Bric, Kowerk, or General Provision. Hang out at Panther Coffee in the Wynwood area, a neighborhood where you’ll find a lot of entrepreneurial activity.

2. San Diego

Warm startup scenes - San Diego

  • Current temperature: 51-68 F
  • Cost: $2,672 (NomadList)

San Diego is a choice destination if you’d like to get in a little surfing on your trip, too. The growing startup scene is supported by a few major players, including three universities and the nonprofit CommNexus. Although you’ll hear the usual gripes about lack of funding, you can’t beat the weather and the chill, medium-city vibe.

If you decide to spend some time in San Diego, get plugged in at coworking spaces like Co-Merge, Hera Hub (for women), 3RDSpace, AI Center, Bloc, Coworking Connection, CyberHive, Encinitas Technology Center, San Diego Entrepreneur Center, SMARTSPACE, Thirdoor Coworking Community, The Vine, Union Coworking Space, or VisionPulse Creative.

3. Las Vegas

warm startup scenes - Las Vegas

  • Current temperature: 41-63 F
  • Cost: $2,148/month (NomadList)

The Las Vegas startup scene is humming thanks to an injection of $350 million by Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project, which supports not only tech startups but development in real estate, education, and small businesses. You’ll find a collection of startups and entrepreneurs centered around downtown Vegas, about two miles north of the Strip in the neighborhood of Fremont Street.

If you decide to spend some time in Las Vegas, get plugged in at coworking spaces like Work in Progress, Innevation Center, Motel, or Co-Operate on Main. You’ll probably run into entrepreneurs if you visit the coffee shop The Beat, the Container Park shopping area, or the Ogden apartment building.

Latin America

4. Buenos Aires

Warm startup scenes - Buenos Aires

  • Current temperature: 73-86 F
  • Cost: $1,727/month (NomadList)

Known as the Paris of South America, Argentina’s Buenos Aires is home to lots of great tech talent and the highest concentration of university students in Latin America. Some of them end up in dev and design studios, who do outsourcing at cheap rates but very high quality. Unlike Europe or Asia, Buenos Aires is on a similar time zone to the US – just two hours ahead of EST. And government support and friendly regulations make it easy to start a business there. (See 6 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Buenos Aires.)

If you decide to spend some time in Buenos Aires, get plugged in at coworking spaces like Cespedes, Urban Station, Areatres, The Office, or Workstation.

5. Rio de Janeiro

Warm startup scenes - Rio de Janeiro

  • Current temperature: 75-91 F
  • Cost: $2,621/month (NomadList)

Brazil has the largest economy in South America, and recent years have seen a rise in the country’s middle class. As the government invests $78 million into startups, outside venture capital investors like SVB Capital are also taking notice. In addition to Rio de Janeiro, startup activity is growing in cities like Sao Paulo and Florianopolis, although entrepreneurs do have to contend with a high cost of doing business, issues with cloud technology, and poor legislation against cybercrime. (See 5 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Brazil.)

If you decide to spend some time in Rio de Janeiro, get plugged in at coworking spaces like Tribo, StartupRio, Space Coworking, Templo CoWorking, or WeCompany; or fuel up at the coffee shop Cafeina.

6. Mexico City

Warm startup scenes - Mexico City

  • Current temperature: 53-81 F
  • Cost: $1,302/month (NomadList)

The second-largest economy in Latin America, Mexico boasts a young population and a government that supports entrepreneurship (to the tune of $600 million). Partly thanks to its proximity to the US, Mexico City was 500 Startups’s choice for its first office outside Silicon Valley. The country has lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs with its resilient economy and growth in smartphone users over the past few years. (See 5 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Mexico.)

If you decide to spend some time in Mexico City, get plugged in at coworking spaces like Urban Station, Centraal, El 3er espacio, or Impact Hub DF.

Asia

7. Chiang Mai

Warm startup scenes - Chiang Mai

  • Current temperature: 61-96 F
  • Cost: $638/month (NomadList)

Thailand’s fourth-largest city, Chiang Mai is a popular destination for digital nomads and remote workers thanks to its warm weather, cheap costs, and fast Internet. You can get an apartment for a few hundred dollars a month, eat delicious meals for $1 or $2, get hour-long massages for $6-10, and generally live on a poor entrepreneur’s salary. Growing awareness of Chiang Mai has brought entrepreneurs there from countries around the world.

If you decide to spend some time in Chiang Mai, get plugged in at coworking spaces like PunSpace, Guru Box, Coffee Monster, and CAMP at Maya Mall. You can find more information on the digital nomads Facebook group or this Google doc. Many techies live in the hip Nimman area.

8. Ubud

Warm startup scenes - Ubud

  • Current temperature: 78-81 F
  • Cost: $1,087/month (NomadList)

Located on the island of Bali, Ubud is a city known for its yoga, healthy food, and vibrant culture (and, of course, its appearance in Eat, Pray, Love). A small digital nomad community is forming there, although the Internet is a bit slower than Chiang Mai and the prices are a little steeper. On the plus side, you’ll be blown away by the beauty of Bali’s ricefields and you can’t help but feel relaxed amid such peaceful surroundings. 

If you decide to spend some time in Ubud, get plugged in at coworking space Hubud.

9. Ho Chi Minh City

Warm startup scenes - Ho Chi Minh

  • Current temperature: 75-91 F
  • Cost: $968/month (NomadList)

Located in the south of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) is another popular destination for digital nomads. Vietnam is a country in transition, as prices rise and cities build out their infrastructure, but right now the time is ripe to take advantage of the low prices and welcoming environment. Putting a big emphasis on tourism, the Vietnamese are some of the best English speakers in southeast Asia and remain friendly to visitors and tourists.

If you decide to spend some time in Ho Chi Minh City, get plugged in at coworking spaces Work Saigon and Saigon CoWorking. For more information, check out the Facebook group of expats living there.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Foundation

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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