Bridging the Opportunity Divide

How to Create the Next Silicon Valley

September 26, 2014
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How to Create the Next Silicon Valley
A thriving tech scene can be developed in any city. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Cities can crack the code by following this checklist.

When you hear tech, you probably think Silicon Valley.

But this area of California shouldn’t be the only locale that comes to mind, as cities across the U.S. are striving to become next big tech scene.

To help, Next City, along with innovation economy experts, developed a list of strategies that can help create a thriving tech scene in any city. Here are a few of their requirements.

A success story
In order for companies to make the commitment to an area, they need to see the proof that it’s actually a thriving environment, so a city needs at least one big winner. For example, in Raleigh, N.C., the success of Linux purveyor Red Hat has encouraged the launching of other local businesses.

Good transportation
Beyond one stellar company, a city also needs to be able to easily access venture capital. Any trip to a potential investor should last no more than a day, necessitating fast transportation between cities. According to Next City, trains are especially good for tech entrepreneurs since it’s easy to work while traveling on them.

A school
A major tech hub also needs the backing of an institution, most commonly a university. (After all, a former dean of an engineering school in the 1950’s is credited with launching Silicon Valley.) New York City, for example, has the support of New York University, and former mayor Bloomberg’s Applied Sciences NYC is helping to encourage entrepreneurial ideas as well.

Engineers
Tech-centric cities need engineers…hordes of them. As Next City points out, computer software programs aren’t the same as having qualified, knowledgeable engineers on your team.

An informal leader
To fully create a thriving tech scene, there needs to be networking events, hackathons, meetups, demo nights and game jams. Someone needs to take the initiative to coordinate these events — and it shouldn’t be a company’s CEO or founder.

To see the additional attributes needed to build the next Silicon Valley, click here.

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