Silicon Valley has long been home to the world’s largest technology companies responsible for many game-changing innovations like the microprocessor and the microcomputer. It has an impressive record when it comes to economic measurements like research and development investment, hiring, and revenue.

However, an Automation Alley report predicts that Southeast Michigan technology companies will outperform Silicon Valley in these key areas in 2016. For background, Automation Alley is a regional technology business association based in Troy, Michigan. It was founded in 1999 and has nearly 1,000 members in the businesses, education and government sectors inside eight counties that include and surround Detroit.


The report surveyed top senior technology executives in Southeast Michigan and Silicon Valley and revealed some very interesting – and promising – results.

Of the executives surveyed, 99 percent of those in Southeast Michigan predicted revenue growth in their companies. Furthermore, 83 percent of Michigan executives believe technology companies can have a greater return on investment doing business in Metro Detroit.

Only 69 percent of Silicon Valley execs believe the same about the Valley.

Not surprisingly, the cost of living factored into the report. Employees in Southeast Michigan enjoy a lower cost of living than those in Silicon Valley. The median housing price in San Jose is a whopping 412 percent higher than in Metro Detroit.

Other key findings of the 2016 report revealed that Southeast Michigan executives were more positive in their outlook on growth, career advancement, and overall business environment than those in Silicon Valley.

Eighty-three percent of Southeast Michigan execs expect an increase in their company’s R&D spending, and 82 percent plan to hire more talent in 2016.

As far as career advancement goes, Southeast Michigan is the place to be. Eighty-one percent of executives believe that the region offers more networking opportunities than other metro areas. Only 77 percent of Silicon Valley execs believed the same about their region.

Southeast Michigan executives also paid homage to the area’s colleges and universities. An impressive 85 percent think the region has leading academic institutions for self-advancement, compared to 68 percent in Silicon Valley.

With figures like those, it’s not surprising that Metro Detroit and the Southeast Michigan region has recently become a hub for startups and technology businesses. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

2016 promises to be a year of growth for the tech companies that call Southeast Michigan home. While the Detroit region likely won’t unseat Silicon Valley in the hearts and minds of people as the place to be in the technology world just yet, it will likely give the Valley a good show.

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