Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Next Silicon Valley ?

The next Facebook or Google could come from technology start-up havens as disparate as Santiago, Chile or Bangalore, India.

Both locations crack the world's top 20 start-up ecosystems, as determined from data gathered from 50,000 entrepreneurs by analytics company Startup Compass and analysed by Telefonica Digital.

It's no surprise that Silicon Valley in California remains the world's largest start-up ecosystem, with the best access to financial capital, and the longest average working day of 9.95 hours. Tel Aviv, Israel comes in second, with similar levels of capital, but a tendency to develop products for smaller markets.

But it's the lesser-known tech hotspots creeping onto the list that may surprise you.

Santiago's ecosystem is notable for owing a large amount of its success to a Chilean government program, Start-up Chile, the report said. Santiago also has the highest ratio of female to male entrepreneurs in the report, with women making up 20 per cent of the start-up workforce. The ecosystem is very young, with the first start-ups coming to Chile in 2010 when the Chilean government brought 22 start-ups from 14 countries to Chile, giving them $40,000 of free capital. The report lists QuantConnect - a trade management platform - and AgentPiggy - a children's financial advice website - as two of Chile's most successful start-ups.

In Bangalore, start-up employees actually work about one hour longer every day than those in Silicon Valley, on average. However, companies lackeasy access to funding, and employ a low percentage of women: just 6 per cent of the start-up workforce. One of Bangalore's most successful start-ups is Zoho, a suite of cloud-based office applications, that has since moved its headquarters to California.

Perhaps more predictably, London's start-up scene was noted as being the only European hub that could compare to Silicon Valley, with a good support network for entrepreneurs and high levels of education.

Unfortunately, like many hotspots outside Silicon Valley, London suffers from a funding gap for young companies that are still at the concept stage. Overall, London comes in seventh in the global rankings, behind Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City and Boston. London's best known start-ups are the micro-lender Wonga and childrens' game and social network Moshi Monsters.

The top 20

  1. Silicon Valley
  2. Tel Aviv
  3. Los Angeles 
  4. Seattle 
  5. New York City 
  6. Boston
  7. London 
  8. Toronto 
  9. Vancouver 
  10. Chicago
  11. Paris 
  12. Sydney
  13. Sao Paulo
  14. Moscow 
  15. Berlin 
  16. Waterloo (Canada) 
  17. Singapore
  18. Melbourne
  19. Bangalore 
  20. Santiago

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