Economist reports show that Silicon Valley is slowly losing its lustre, there is no doubt that it remains the darling for tech startups.

In 2018, data from PWC and CB insights shows that the tech hub still leads the world in venture capital funding. But the availability of financing is not the only thing that makes the San Francisco Bay area attractive to startups.

What Makes Silicon Valley Successful?

Talent is the lifeblood of budding companies especially in the tech sector, and Silicon Valley attracts the best and the brightest. Most of the engineers working in the Valley are from the world leading universities including Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, and Georgia Tech.

The hub encourages an entrepreneurial culture with a significant number of employees working in already established companies leaving at some point to start their own ventures. 

Amazingly, the majority of tech startups in Silicon Valley are founded by ex-employees of tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. But before establishing their own companies, these employees often prefer working with startups to learn the ropes.

The engagement with the startups involves short-term contracts with the employee expressing their interest to leave after a certain period to found their own companies. Such employees are usually highly innovative and productive and hence the best resource for early-stage startups.

Even better, this type of employees helps startups to build networks by connecting them with contacts already established when working with the behemoths of the Valley. These networks are an essential component of startup success and one of the many reasons why Silicon Valley is a good location for innovative companies.

Why Startup Networking is Important.

But entrepreneurial employees are not the only source of networks for startups. Silicon Valley regularly hosts startup events where entrepreneurs can connect with like-minded people.

There are also spaces dedicated for networking and organisations specialising on the same. Here is a list by Inc. on the top ten places to network with startup founders in Silicon Valley.

The Bay area also hosts a lot of conferences aimed at updating tech startups on the latest developments in the industry. While such events can be accessed remotely, the physical events are usually better since they provide an opportunity to network.

According to a report by Startup Sesame, 91% of startups agree that tech events generate benefits for them.

More Advantages of Launching a Startup in Silicon Valley.

CB Insights identifies legal issues to be among the top reasons why startups fail. Fortunately for those operating in Silicon Valley, the groundwork is well laid.

The Bay Area intellectual property laws are well defined when compared to other areas and are regularly revised to meet needs as they arise. Additionally, this area attracts some of the best intellectual property legal advisors.

Also, operating in close proximity enables organisations to join hands and lobby for certain benefits. In Silicon Valley, there are multiple lobby groups with the most powerful including nonprofits such as Internet Association, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), and Engine.

Perhaps the most crucial reason for startups setting shop in Silicon Valley is the exposure that comes with competing businesses being concentrated in one area.

The proximity attracts customers, suppliers, investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders in huge droves hence making it a win-win situation for all. Media coverage is also high in Silicon Valley, and therefore it is easy for startups to get noticed. 

How to make it in Silicon Valley.

Even with all these benefits, setting up shop successfully in Silicon Valley is not a walk in the park. There are many challenges along the way which means that failure to plan can be disastrous.

Startup founders who have made it in the Valley recommend working in the Valley first before launching a business.

If getting employment is not possible, at least partner with someone who has previously worked in the tech hub. Success in Silicon Valley is all about getting the right contacts, and there is no better way to do so than to work or partner with veterans.

When looking for a place to work before venturing into their businesses, startup founders should go for unicorns instead of big tech companies.

Unlike corporations, unicorns are more flexible and often involve employees on different facets of running a startup including fundraising. They also provide an opportunity for mentorship and are a great place to network and grow.

Other tech-hubs cities to Explore.

Without a doubt, Silicon Valley is the top destination for tech startups, but it is not the only option.

The cost of living in the Bay area is extremely high which means that startups with lean budgets may not survive here. Luckily, there are other tech hubs with the similar characteristics as the Valley but located in affordable areas.

Outside the U.S., Canadian tech-hubs are seemingly the best alternative to Silicon Valley given the cultural similarities.

Top destinations according to Expert Market include Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Waterloo. Vancouver has the most similarities to Silicon Valley, where Subscribe Technologies a SaaS development and Venture Capital company also resides, perhaps due to its proximity.

 

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