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Bay Of Gigs Watch out, San Francisco! The Internet is upon you.

By Heather Alter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's hard to ignore the impact that Internetentrepreneurship has made on San Francisco. The skyline is pepperedwith billboards for Thetwentysomething crowd cruises around town in sportscars, chattingon their cell phones. And hot topics of conversation have movedaway from local politics and free love and toward stock options andretirement at age 40.

As the rest of the nation is just starting to see the effects ofthe tech climate on city cultures, everyone's keeping a closeeye on the Bay area-for good reason. Perhaps nowhere else has theimpact of the Internet been demonstrated so clearly, and soquickly. South of Market (SOMA) and Mission districts, once lightindustrial and manufacturing centers, now contain a slew of new Webstart-ups, including LookSmart, USWeb/CKS and Spinner."Multimedia Gulch" is filled with warehouses convertedinto trendy offices outfitted with high-speed Net access and steelbeams. Pricey restaurants are popping up, lunch lines are long andthe cyberprofessional crowd has arrived, seemingly overnight. Inmany ways, it's a brand new day for the city by the Bay.

"It's an interesting phenomenon," observes MarkQuinn, district director of the San Francisco SBA and a SanFrancisco resident of 15 years. "Up until a few years ago, youdidn't notice much of an impact on San Francisco from high-techventures. But the Multimedia Gulch phenomenon has really changedparts of the city."

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