Even though I was born in Argentina, I grew up in California. Specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area. Yes, "Silicon Valley." Of course, living there we really didn't think it was anything special. It was just "home."
However, for the past 7 years I've been living in exile outside of Washington, DC, which in many ways represents the polar opposite end of the innovation spectrum from Silicon Valley. I've also spent a fair amount of time working with communities on economic development initiatives, especially those focused on building entrepreneurial organizations. I've been fascinated by everyone's desire to duplicate Silicon Valley, while simultaneously admitting it is an anomaly. More interesting, I've enjoyed learning from experienced economic development professionals the various mechanisms for catalyzing such a transformation.
In this regard, I thought I had heard every possible idea for replicating Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial success ... until I read the title of this recent blog post
: "Can You Buy a Silicon Valley? Maybe.
" Essentially, the post suggests that some communities could potentially jumpstart their entrepreneurial cultures by paying 30 angel-backed Silicon Valley startups $1M each to relocate.
Normally, I wouldn't post an economic development discussion in this group ... and I've got my own personal opinions as to what makes Silicon Valley unique and completely un-replicable. However, given the current debate over the U.S. stimulus plan, I thought this suggested approach of using $30M in public funding to "buy" some imported angel-backed companies might be worth throwing out to this group for discussion.