Silicon Valley 2.0? What it Takes to Be the Next Big Innovation Hub

Source: Ewan Laing

For many years Silicon Valley has been regarded as the most successful and sought-after geographic region for tech designers and startups to get their foothold in the very competitive tech industry.

Source: Kiwi Landing Pad

Silicon Valley is a nickname for an area located in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area of California. This area is home to many successful innovative corporations such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix and Tesla to name a few. According to the Top 20 Innovation Hub list from the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report, Silicon Valley ranks number one in performance, funding, talent and start up expenditure, as well as fourth in market research spending.

Top 20 Innovation Hub list from the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report. Source: ClearBit — Matt Sornson

Silicon Valley is also home to thousands of startup companies and innovation hubs. There are three main reasons why the Silicon Valley innovation hub is so successful, including the culture, the people and the numbers.

The Culture

The social and cultural environment that exists in Silicon Valley, facilitates the attractiveness of this area for tech designers and startups. Part of this culture is that it is the norm to start a company in this area and the idea of risking it all to develop a new idea is even encouraged. In other areas of the country and the world, this is not the norm and can be seen as irresponsible and naïve. Think of it like this; in Hollywood, it is the norm to be an actor, in Silicon Valley it is the norm to start a business. This causes more people with innovative ambition and technical ability to flock to this area where they find the environment suits their ambitions.

The People

Due to the previously mentioned culture of the area there are many like minded people in Silicon Valley who are all trying to create innovation and novel ideas. This means that in this area entrepreneurs may not just find someone interested in their innovation at work, but in everyday life. This provides a better chance of meeting with people who will be interested in the idea, encourage, inspire and help advance the startup.

The Numbers

The vast number of innovative people located in the same area means that finding the best investors and most talented engineers is much easier as everyone is focused on creating great tech. The volume of startups in the area also creates a competitive environment that is actually beneficial to the creation of innovative ideas and businesses such as increased productivity, innovation and stimulation due to collaboration and spin-off ideas.

Can the Recipe Be Replicated?

So, if the aspects of Silicon Valley that make is so successful don’t have anything to do with the actual geographic location, could these conditions be replicated somewhere else? This question has become increasingly interesting to consider with the current political climate in the United States. Due to this climate, Silicon Valley may soon see a decrease in well-educated and innovative minds migrating to the area. If the proposed travel ban in the United States goes into effect, many of the most talented new graduates from around the world may not be permitted to enter the United States. Even without the travel ban in effect, some tech designers and entrepreneurs from the countries named in the ban are already feeling unsafe in the country. This could drive away existing talent and companies as well.

If the United States is off the table, where might the next Silicon Valley be? Tel Aviv and London are the top 2 non-American cities that have strong innovation hubs. Both cities show strong growth potential with growth indices of 2.9 and 3.3 respectively. Should the tech and start-up community decide to vacate Silicon Valley, the real deciding factor of the success of a new innovation hub is whether or not they choose to disperse or centralize in one area. After all, the real success of Silicon Valley seems to lie in the dense concentration of talent.