Which startups outside of Silicon Valley are getting the most traction and which cities are home to the most interesting tech activity? asks Anna Hensel at VentureBeat in naming top US tech hubs to watch in 2018.

The four cities chosen as ones to watch aren’t necessarily those that are home to the most startup activity, Hensel writes. “Rather, entrepreneurs, investors, or government leaders in the city have proven nimble in identifying what resources tech entrepreneurs will need to grow in their city. Or they’ve dedicated themselves to becoming leaders in a niche technology sector that they think will revolutionize American life. And finally, many of these cities are also home to a promising number of tech startups.”

The activity that’s taking place in Pittsburgh seems to be generating the most interest, she writes.

“Pittsburgh has a natural advantage in that it’s home to Carnegie Mellon University, which hosts one of the largest and most popular computer science programs in the country. But until recently, that hasn’t always translated into a high concentration of private sector tech activity in Pittsburgh.

“In 2016, the number of patents issued to Pittsburgh’s major research universities — Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University — reached a 10-year high, according to a report from Pittsburgh seed-stage investor Innovation Works, while the number of spin-off companies generated by these universities has remained relatively steady.

“The city is seeing promising activity in a number of sectors, including robotics, artificial intelligence, automated and connected vehicle technology, and advanced manufacturing. It has also received more interest from some of the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley, particularly as platform companies have expanded into hardware. Within the past three years, Uber opened a robotics research lab in the city, Facebook opened an Oculus research office, and Amazon opened an office to work on machine translation for Alexa.”

The three other cities named as tech hubs to watch in 2018 are Ann Arbor, Indianapolis and Raleigh.

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.