In the U.S., there’s no denying that San Francisco is the undisputed king of tech and New York is the undisputed king of finance. Apple, Google and Facebook all call the Bay Area home, and most of the country’s biggest banks are headquartered in Manhattan. There are a few notable exceptions (Seattle holds Microsoft and Amazon, for example), but as a general rule those two cities have a reputation as epicenters of business. But as the cost of living in big cities continues to rise and remote working becomes more prevalent, smaller cities like Boulder, Colo. and Cincinnati are establishing themselves as regional tech hubs. And for these companies (some household names, some you might not have heard of), small cities and towns have been key to their success. In no particular order, here are nine big U.S. companies that are headquartered in unexpected places.
8. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Founded as ExactTarget in 2000, Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud is one of Indianapolis’ biggest tech success stories. When the digital marketing automation company was acquired by Salesforce for $2.7 billion in 2013, it was the largest acquisition of a tech company in the city’s history. And although Salesforce’s headquarters are in San Francisco, it kept Marketing Cloud’s operations in Indianapolis and made the city its regional headquarters in 2016. And as tends to happen in smaller cities like Indianapolis, this acquisition meant that former Marketing Cloud execs had the experience and funds to create and invest in other tech startups in their city. Scott Dorsey, a co-founder and the former ExactTarget CEO and chairman, left the company after the Salesforce acquisition and is now co-founder and managing partner of High Alpha, an Indianapolis VC fund.