In the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” one of the characters refers to the famed tech hub as “the cradle of innovation.” To be sure, Silicon Valley has given us the home computer, the iPhone and many other tech innovations.

Yet even some small college towns in the U.S. can lay claim to being cradles of innovation, although on a much smaller scale than Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, the built-in brainpower and resources of a university can be a catalyst for tech startups in small college towns. Not every college town graduates to the level of a mini-Silicon Valley, though.

“College towns are no longer just sleepy hamlets where learning, sports, conversation and partying prevail,” social and economic theorist Richard Florida wrote in 2011 onThe Atlantic Cities website. “The rise of the idea-driven, human capital-powered knowledge economy has transformed many of them into economic powerhouses.”

So, which small college towns in the U.S. make the grade as standout tech hubs? To read the entire article, click here…

Corvallis, OR 

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City population: 54,998 (2012)
Major school: Oregon State University
University enrollment: 27,925 (fall 2013)
Ranked No. 10 (tie): High-tech startup density among all metro areas (2010)
Ranked No. 1: High-tech startup density among small metro areas (2010)
Ranked No. 3: Largest increase in high-tech startup density among small metro areas (1990-2010)
Ranked No. 2: Density of digital technology startups among small metro areas (2010)
Ranked No. 3: Largest increase in density of digital technology startups among small metro areas (1990-2010)
Ranked No. 5: 20 best college towns in America (2013-14)