December 19, 2011

Beyond Silicon Valley: New Start-up Scenes

Even though I live in the heart of Silicon Valley, I know we don't have a monopoly on innovation. In my column for The Daily Muse (also published in Forbes), I highlight some of the other pockets of entrepreneurship popping up across the nation.

It all started with a computer chip.

Coined 40 years ago, the term “Silicon Valley” originally referred to the silicon chip manufacturers that helped build the high-tech movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. The region has been a technology hot spot since, but today, it’s evolved from hardware giants into social technology and consumer internet, thanks to companies like Google and Facebook. “Silicon” is no longer literal, but a metonym for the entrepreneurial spirit that’s fueled the region’s growth for decades.

But the Bay Area isn’t this country’s only pocket of innovation, and “Silicon (fill-in-the-blank)” is an increasingly popular shorthand for regions with brewing start-up scenes. With predictions that start-ups will bring the United States out of its recession, entrepreneurs across America are stepping up to the plate.

Read the article for full review. Here are the highlights...

Silicon Alley: New York City (e-commerce and badass women entrepreneurs)

Silicon Beach: Los Angeles (entertainment, celebrities, and legal)

Silicon Strip: Las Vegas (building a community from scratch, Sin City to Sim City)

Silicon Mitten: Michigan (manufacturing, energy, and renaissance)

Silicon Loop: Chicago (midwest collaboration and the "Groupon Mafia")

Silicon Beltway: Washington DC (consumer internet and social entrepreneurship)

Silicon Prairie: Omaha, Des Moines, and Kansas City (strong start-up community in the heartland)

I was short on space and would have loved to write more about each of these regions. Keep your eyes peeled for a future piece on other hotspots like Silicon Needle (Seattle), Silicon Bayou (New Orleans), Silicon Rockies (Colorado), Silicon Triangle? (Durham, NC), and Silicon Strait? (Vancouver, BC).

No comments: