What can today’s start-ups looking to accelerate their growth learn from Silicon Valley’s high tech boom of the 1970s and 1980s? In the space of just a few years, this southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area – centered on Santa Clara Valley – became home to so many high-tech computer companies that it earned the nickname “Silicon Valley” after the silicon chips these organizations were using. It has in turn become shorthand for the US digital technology industry itself.
Today, Silicon Valley has grown to encompass the entire San Francisco Bay Area. It remains a leading high tech hub and focus of a strong start-up ecosystem – attracting as much as 43% of US venture capital funding, and home to dozens of “unicorn” start-ups, worth over US$1 billion. Yet around the world, other clusters of start-up innovation have also sprung up – so many that Slate magazine jokingly created a map listing all the places dubbed “the new Silicon Valley.”
So what was it that turned Santa Clara Valley into Silicon Valley? Why here, in this once-remote and rural part of America? According to Bryan Pearce, Global Leader EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, and Jeff Grabow, EY’s US Venture Capital Leader, there are five key factors that converged to transform this part of San Francisco Bay into the world’s leading technology hub. Entrepreneurs can look to leverage these components of success in order to accelerate growth within their businesses.