The Ingredients for Creating A Silicon Valley

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Lots of cities all over the world are chiming in and making claims. The claim is that the next Silicon Valley is right there — in Jacksonville, Vancouver, Berlin or Indianapolis. Could be and I hope so. Building on my last post about the 2015 prediction that Silicon Valleys will spring up around the world, here is the list of recipe ingredients to make it happen:

  • Bars, clubs and coffee shops: Without attracting young hip developers, it will never happen. Make the hangouts hip and social where people can talk and where a laptop is always welcome. Remember you are attracting people under 30 years old. Ride share availability critical.
  • Understanding of the concept of equity: A general knowledge that the way to personal wealth is through stock options will encourage innovation and relentless commitment.
  • A college that grants degrees in computer science/engineering: MIT equivalent not necessary. Just smart technical people who are passionate about building companies.
  • Attitude teetering on the edge of adventurous and obnoxious: Entrepreneurs who believe they will be the next “big thing” will keep the flywheel spinning.
  • Curious old(er) people (over 35 years old) who will act as mentors: Some call this adult supervision but someone has to be rationale in the face of over exuberance about new ideas.
  • Buildings made of bricks and timber: Long worktables and latte machines a plus. Millions of outlets a requirement. Innovators don’t want to work in a fifty-story building.
  • Creation of one successful company (more than one is better): Any success will attract others. The others will believe there could be magic in the local water.
  • True believers in the power of innovation (with money): Also called a source of capital. A robust venture capital community will help but a bunch of wealthy people who don’t want to miss the technology boat will suffice.
  • Diversity, as in willing to accept everyone: The more diverse the people, the more diverse the ideas. Bring everyone in to the new innovation coalition.

Mix the ingredients together, wait for a success and it begins, but it’s never done. Some of the ingredients change but attracting the best innovators on a continuous basis will make new areas successful. Other Silicon Valleys will develop each year but it takes time and focus. A bunch of cities have all of the above figured out. Consider Austin, Toronto, Dublin, New York, and Santa Monica to name a few.

The secret sauce is now revealed. if you want to create the next Silicon Valley in your locale, you now have the ingredients – good luck.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/theromb

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