Can Other Cities Really Jump On the Silicon Valley Train?

Silicon Valley

The business world as we know it has been evolving and changing over time. Since the boom of startups such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler, startup companies around the world have been on the rise. People are moving away from the traditional 9 to 5 job for the excitement of entreprenuership, the pursuit of their dreams and the creation of their own companies. And who can blame them? After watching the continued success of startup companies in the United States, the startup trend is spreading globally, with other countries looking to Silicon Valley as their model and direct competition.

Some places are going to extremes in order to lure startups away from Silicon Valley and into their own cities. Most notably in recent news, Canada has put up a billboard on a Northern California freeway that reads; “Pivot to Canada.”  They have also implemented their own startup visa that allots permanent residency to entrepreneurs who can raise enough venture capital to begin a Canadian business. Canada’s startup visa is easier to acquire and retain than visa options in the United States. This tactic makes it simpler for foreigners to launch their startup in Canada versus Silicon Valley. Canada can also boast a more affordable location.

Startup scenes are growing out of Accelerators/Incubators in Chili to other major cities throughout South America, Europe, Asia and beyond, making it a global game. Places such as London, Tel Aviv, New York, Beijing, and Berlin are quickly becoming serious competition for Silicon Valley. Even smaller cities within the United States are striving to make their mark on the map. St. Louis, Missouri just revealed a $100 million dollar plan to make their city the next startup hub. Like many other cities they have all the space and means to support startups; they just need the right talent.

So how do these business-friendly, lower cost alternative locations for startups impact Silicon Valley? Although running a business in Silicon Valley can be more challenging, the networking opportunities are unrivaled. This is where the Venture Capitalists are looking to invest, and where the greatest of innovators can be found. Silicon Valley is to the high-tech community as Hollywood is to the movie industry. With all of that talent and opportunity in one spot, it becomes much easier to connect with the people that can turn your pitch into reality. While there may be more affordable places to do business, it can hard to beat the face-to-face interaction at the coffee shop for getting your next big break.

As time moves on, we will certainly see a rise in startup hubs outside of the Bay Area. We may see an even tighter market for talent in Silicon Valley. But can the rest of the world replace the networks of venture capitalists, advisors, former founders, incubators and accelorators that make the Bay Area so reknowned for today’s startup?

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