There is no denying that the mecca for startups, venture capital and angel investing, has long been Silicon Valley. The whole startup world knows this. But the smartest people in the Valley already know that a lot is happening outside the Valley and outside the US for that matter.
People like Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups that organizes “Geeks On A Plane“, tour different parts of the global startup ecosystem and have made it a habit to make sure there is a group of SV people traveling different parts of the world to learn how the startup ecosystems are developing. All the while networking with like-minded entrepreneurial people in a travel setting, outside the usual day to day. Being taken out of ones comfort zone might even create longer lasting relationships than usual.
Also SV being the Mecca that it is, makes SV people warmly welcome around the globe, to share their views and latest startup Valley tricks. Those living and working on their startups outside the valley, this is just a temporary motivational and knowledge boost they get. For traveling geeks, after the travel there is a stretched out inbox waiting to explode and a lot of stuff to do, so pretty fast, those experiences and people met on travels will start to go unnoticed by the pure amount of own local work that needs to be taken care of.
The most common solution for developing the relationship beyond this encounter is the “go to Silicon Valley” approach. While that can work for some, it does not work for everyone and most definitely does not work for those trying to build and develop their own local ecosystems.
Many cities in the US outside Silicon Valley have the same exact issue as global cities around the US. Smart people like Paige Craig, angel investor from Sacramento evaluated his options and made a decision to not go to Silicon Valley to build his Angel investor profile, but instead decided to stay in Southern California and make that “his territory” to work on. As active as the SV community is, there is also a lot of noise, extreme competition for resources of all kinds and many people in the ecosystem that are looking to take advantage of those coming from outside the Valley. The shining beacon of success can lure one and another to the Valley ecosystem.
Getting back to the topic, there is no one solution that works for building a startup or to become a successful investor that gets access to good deals. There is just hard work and smart choices to be made depending on what is the best approach in each situation. The smartest people from the Valley know this very well and beyond just visiting other places they are actively engaging, building their networks and doing actual investments in companies beyond their own neighborhoods, regardless of what that neighborhood is, Silicon Valley or some other place.
The only simple fact that remains is that the real money, that originates from customers exists outside of any single city and that’s where the focus of the business needs to be. And for everyone on the globe the distance to the global market is the same, about two feet from their nose to the closest screen with access to the Internet. That is what “global” is. It’s not what was described as “export” business in the old world or “going international”. It’s none of those things. It’s the Internet and it’s global by nature.
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