A World Map of All the “Next Silicon Valleys”

Where will it be?
Dec. 19 2013 12:37 PM

A World Map of All the “Next Silicon Valleys”

Want a startup scene in your hometown? First, think of a catchy nickname.

Not every city in the world can be the next Silicon Valley—but that won’t stop them from trying. Earlier this month, Slate’s David Auerbach explained how four crucial ingredients gave rise to the original Silicon Valley: easy research money, easy startup money, mobility, and patience. Oddly, “a catchy nickname” did not make the cut, although it seems to be the first thing on any would-be tech hub’s agenda these days. There’s Silicon Alley, Silicon Hills, Silicon Forest, Silicon Prairie, Silicon Square, Silicon Wadi, and even the Silicon Savannah. Santiago is Chilecon Valley, Philadelphia is Philicon Valley, and Chattanooga is—breaking the nomenclative mold—Gig City. The list goes on.

In our series on The Next Silicon Valley, we’ve taken closer looks at several of these scenes, from Las Vegas to London, New York to Shenzhen, Rwanda to Russia—and even proposed a new one in Cleveland. The map below shows these and some two dozen other cities, metro areas, and regions around the world that have been touted at one time or another as an up-and-coming tech hub and, almost inevitably, a “next Silicon Valley.” Don’t see your city on the list? Easy solution: Just try coming up with a nickname.

The New Silicon Valleys

Places journalists have called the "New Silicon Valley."

Austin, Texas

Venturebeat.com

"One estimate has it that one-third of the companies that are moving to Texas originated in California, where the high cost of doing business often sends companies looking for alternate options ... Tech companies that employ more than 2,000 people in Austin include Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Flextronics and Samsung." Full article »

Bangalore, India

BBC

"With more than 500 companies offering back-office and outsourcing services, the industry here generates more than $17 billion in revenue a year." Full article »

Beijing

Wall Street Journal

"Investment capital is focused around Zhongguancun, which is near prestigious schools such as Tsinghua University and has become the home of established Chinese Internet players like Sina Corp. and Youku Tudou Inc., as well as the China offices of global companies like Google Inc." Full article »

Berlin

NPR

"Sometimes it seems like the entrepreneurial spirit of young Berliners is confined to slacker hipsters selling used clothes to each other. But appearances can be deceiving." Full article »

Boston

Forbes

"Boston ... is quite similar to San Francisco in that it attracts young technology talent that enjoys living and working in an urban setting." Full article »

Brno, Czech Republic

Leaders Magazine

"Thanks to its placement in the heart of Europe, at the border with Slovakia and Austria, but mainly thanks to the brain power of its fresh university graduates, Brno has the potential to become an innovation hub in Central and Eastern Europe." Full article »

Cairo

Huffington Post

"Since the 2011 revolution in Egypt, Sawari Ventures and its incubator Flat6Labs have funded 46 companies in Cairo." Full article »

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Wired

"A mix of local and national investors have partnered to launch the Gig City Gig Tank and are offering $300,000 of cold, hard, start-up cash to be split among entrepreneurs and students." Full article »

Chicago

Entrepreneurship Review

"Chicago startup stars such as Groupon, Orbitz, The Onion, GrubHub, and 37signals helped make the city a new breeding ground for entrepreneurship." Full article »

Colorado

CNBC

"Built In Denver's 2012 Colorado Startup Report showed that last year in Colorado (primarily in Denver and Boulder), 122 start-ups launched and collectively raised over $502 million." Full article »

Detroit

CNN

"Tech job openings have risen 82 percent in Detroit, with companies like Google and Ford hiring engineers in droves." Full article »

Indonesia

Global Post

"Consumers have taken quickly to smartphones and tablet computers, and digital design is far cheaper than in Silicon Valley and increasingly more affordable than in China and India." Full article »

Kigali, Rwanda

Wired

"kLab, which stands for Knowledge Lab ... has 85 tenants, which receive guidance from 21 mentors. Tenants currently include eleven startups that already have services or products on the market ... Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda works closely with kLab providing mentorship to tenants." Full article »

Konza Technology City, Kenya

International Business Times

"The $14.5 billion project is expected to develop into a major information technology hub ... the government hopes [that in 20 years] Konza will have created more than 200,000 IT-related jobs." Full article »

Las Vegas

Slate

"In 2010, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh announced a $350 million investment in the city, including $200 million for real-estate investments and $50 million for tech startups ... The plan, dubbed the Downtown Project, is designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation." Full article »

London

The Independent

"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delighted the UK’s creative industries when he let slip that he sees London, not Silicon Valley, as the biggest threat to his city as a global technology hub." Full article »

Long Island, N.Y.

Times Beacon Record

"Long Island has all the ingredients necessary to become a tech economy, such as research with potential for commercialization, a talent base and a strong infrastructure." Full article »

Los Angeles

Forbes

"In 2012, entrepreneurs in Southern California once again attracted more investment than any other region outside of Silicon Valley—more than New England and nearly twice as much as New York." Full article »

New York City

National Journal

"Tech and information companies now make up the second largest sector in the city's economy, surpassed only by finance ... Since 2007, those types of jobs grew by 11 percent, or approximately 26,000 positions." Full article »

Philadelphia

fastcompany.com

"Resources for entrepreneurs, such as coworking spaces, incubators (like Dreamit Ventures, a competitive program that gives up to $25,000 and office space to budding tech companies), and investment dollars (from both venture capital funds and successful startup founders now making angel investments), are dripping into the area." Full article »

Phoenix

KTAR Arizona

" 'We've been drawing companies like Yelp, eBay, PayPal, out of the San Francisco Bay area,' said Barry Broome of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council." Full article »

Santiago, Chile

The Economist

"Many countries have sought to create their own versions of Silicon Valley. Nearly all have failed. Yet Chile's attempt is interesting because it exploits the original Silicon Valley's weak spot—America's awful immigration system. When the home of free enterprise turns away entrepreneurs, Chile welcomes them." Full article »

Seattle

USA Today

"Seattle—nicknamed Silicon Forest—is home to electronic commerce giant Amazon and a booming tech scene, and is adding high-tech jobs at a faster rate than Silicon Valley." Full article »

Shenzhen, China

Sampan

"The development of Shenzhen is the epitome of China when it comes to reform and modernization." Full article »

Singapore

The Telegraph

"While having a market of just five million people, investors usually park their money in Singapore but then invest in much bigger markets close by, such as Indonesia." Full article »

Skolkovo, Russia

SF Gate

"Government funding of close to $6 billion can't hurt." Full article »

Sydney

Sydney Morning Herald

"Over the last two years, Sydney's seen its tech start-up scene booming in parallel with Silicon Valley, and that's encouraging." Full article »

Tel Aviv

Forbes

"According to the Startup Genome Project, Tel Aviv, Israel—dubbed Silicon Wadi, which means valley in Hebrew—has the No. 2 startup ecosystem in the world. It has more startups per capita than anywhere else, and it has 61 companies on the NASDAQ. That's more than Europe, Japan, Korea, and China combined." Full article »

Toronto

The Globe and Mail

"After years of nurturing a tight-knit tech community, Toronto seems to be reaching a critical mass—not just of homegrown companies, conferences, and networks, but of ties to a global industry." Full article »

Washington, D.C.

Wall Street Journal

"Successes such as LivingSocial and OPower have become anchors to the growing startup community. Up-and-comers like Hello Wallet, TroopID, Social Tables, Contactually, Venga, and Speek are starting to make some noise." Full article »

Waterloo region, Canada

Financial Post

"Ontario is North America's second-largest concentration of technology companies after California." Full article »