Is San Francisco the New Epicenter of Silicon Valley?

September 6, 2010

For years it’s been an open secret – young entrepreneurs and tech-savvy folks who work for the big Silicon Valley conglomerates have been living in San Francisco while commuting to Silicon Valley. After all, does anyone really relocate to northern California to live in Mountain View?

Now it appears that many of these people also did not move to the Bay Area to commute. They’ve started companies in San Francisco proper – not 30 or 40 miles south on the 101 freeway in Palo Alto or San Jose, traditional epicenters of what’s typically considered Silicon Valley.

According to the San Francisco Sunday Examiner, San Francisco has been “beating out South Bay cities for venture capital, boosting key sectors and creating a hotbed of growing firms.” Software companies, social media, gaming, green tech and biotech are leading the pack of industry sectors attracting the VC dollars.

Good news for the entire innovative tech industry in the Bay Area (which includes Silicon Valley and San Francisco): “investors poured nearly $3 billion into Bay Area companies in the past three months – a 100 percent increase from the first quarter.” More than $283 million went to companies located in San Francisco. (Read more)

America’s Most Innovative Cities

June 16, 2010 has named America’s top 20 most innovative cities. Of course, San Jose, CA – epicenter of Silicon Valley – ranks first, but the others are up-and-coming hotbeds of innovation, particularly the number 2 city on the list – Austin, TX. Australian entrepreneurs looking to expand into the US to be close to their customers should take a look at these alternatives to Silicon Valley. Click here for the snapshot (in pictures). Click here to read the story in full.

In a related story about being close to your customers, Brad Howarth reports on Australian companies that have opened offices in New York City in a piece for the, “Aussies in NY Empire Building Quest”.

Looking Back at the Dotcom Bust

March 19, 2010

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the dotcom bust. On March 10, 2000 the Nasdaq peaked at 5,048.62. Then it promptly nose-dived, never to see that level again. What happened next was the great dotcom bust that sent the US economy into a tailspin, salvaged in the last decade — only temporarily — by Web 2.0. As we await Web 3.0, and still-to-come better days in Silicon Valley and beyond, here’s Wired’s look back at the products, the players and the promises of the dotcom era, and where they are now.

Click here to read Wired’s “10 Years After: The Dotcom Boom and Bust.”

Vote in VentureBeat’s Poll for “Gadget of the Decade”

December 14, 2009

Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat is running a poll. Vote for your favorite gadget of the decade. Is it Apple’s iPhone or iTunes? Nintendo’s Wii? Microsoft’s Xbox 360? Flat panel TVs? The Blackberry? What about Amazon’s Kindle or Flip Video camcorders? One thing is certain, the 2000s (the jury is still out on what the decade’s official name should be) was no doubt the “Decade of the Gadget”. Cast your vote for your favorite here.


The Top 10 Emerging Green Tech Trends of 2009

December 14, 2009

It’s the time of year for “best of” lists and the green tech industry is one of the first to compile theirs.

Despite this year’s economic woes, Greentech Media reports that “lots of little trends popped up in 2009 and they will likely have an impact on what happens in 2010.” Among the hits — smart grid deployments starting moving from the conceptual phase to reality and cheaper solar power. Click here to see the top 10 trends and read more.

Results of the 3Q Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index

October 29, 2009

Read the interpretation of the steady results revealed in University of San Francisco associate professor of entrepreneurship Mark Cannice’s quarterly study of nearly 40 Silicon Valley VCs byTechCrunch writer Sarah Lacey in “Venture Capital’s 3Q Temperature” .

On a scale of 0 to 5, VCs view the current climate for investing and economic recovery to be 3.37. This is the same figure Cannice derived in 2Q ’09. The good news is VCs still feel there are a lot of good new companies out there, and they know that to make returns ten years from now, they have to keep the dollars flowing now.

But there’s a downside that keeps the score stagnant from 2Q to 3Q ’09. According to Lacey, “if VCs can’t spin mature companies off to buyers or public market investors, they have to keep more reserves for them that can’t go to new deals. And without those exits—some firms may not be able to raise their next funds, which also hurts their ability to do new deals.” (Read more)

Note: To read the 3Q Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index in full, click here.

The State of Funding in the Valley

October 7, 2009

Angel investor Ron Conway’s name came up a few times in our Funding Business Forum at the ANZA Gateway to the US Summit this morning. It wouldn’t be a funding panel in Silicon Valley without a little name dropping and on the back of that we came across this interview with “the Grandaddy of Silicon Valley,” bv Mike Arrington at TechCrunch that took place just the other day.

Conway was asked what he thought of the state of funding in the Valley, one year after the global financial crisis (GFC) struck the tech hub, as well as the rest of the world.  Said Conway,

“We’ve seen an explosion of real time data startups which has helped offset the downturn in Silicon Valley. We still see 5-6 deals a day, which tells me the market is very vibrant. I feel like we’ve weathered the storm very nicely. Also, a lot of companies that needed money last year raised money quickly or cut costs and survived, so we had a lower failure rate than we thought we would.”

(Read more)