After setting up our Grow VC Office in NY, it’s obvious we’ve been watching that ecosystem evolve closely in the past years. However, there are countless other hubs in the US that are emerging, that all have their distinctly local overtones.
Silicon Valley is by far the most prominent local ecosystem for startups, but a lot is going on outside of that region. Looking at Los Angeles, Chicago, Boulder, Seattle, Boston, New York and so on, it’s obvious that ten years from now, we will have many thriving ecosystems that will look distinctly different than Silicon Valley, having rather enforced their own roots and their own DNA. Like chefs using local produce, ecosystems need to take advantage of the highest quality local resources at their disposal.
Los Angeles is definitely not a traditional startup powerhouse, but in the past few years a lot has started to emerge in LA and Southern California. The entertainment sector is prominent, but it also spills over to what types of startups emerge out of LA and also the resource pool around these startups. Not only startups though, there is a lot of capital in the entertainment space, and we’re seeing less-professional angel investors starting to get active. This is a good thing, as the “professional angel investors” represent only a minority of all individuals with the means to invest. Getting more and more people excited about startups will definitely get the crowd buzzing.
Local regions that have strong sectors represented, for example like the financial sector in NY and entertainment in LA, will be on to something once the bridges between these industries and startups are built. The average individual in these sectors have not traditionally had the opportunity to participate in startups, but as the market in the startup investing space (naturally including crowdfunding) evolves, these links become all the more important.
A small percentage of capital from large industries and sectors being channeled into startups is peanuts for these powerhouse industries, but the implication is huge for startups, employment and the overall economy. Look at the entertainment space for one. Building sustainable bridges between this sector and startups, to bring more access to good deals for potential investors is one key to unlocking a mainstream adoption of entrepreneurship within the local community.
For years and years we have been trying to replicate the Silicon Valley model in different regions. And not surprisingly, any copy and paste efforts have more or less failed. What’s inspiring is seeing local ecosystems foster what has made them thrive historically and empower themselves in a new way with entrepreneurship and startups. Ecosystems do not develop over night, nor should they. Yet with the right mentality and sustainable focus on connecting the dots, they will emerge stronger than ever in various different shapes and sizes.
Even though it’s still early days in most of these emerging startup hubs, hopefully in the future these hubs will have a distinct local connotation and expertise, where ecosystems are interconnected and leverage each other, rather than all trying to replicate one single working model independently.
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 at 3:18 pm and is filed under Entrepreneur Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.