Can Silicon Valley be replicated?
Opinion 2 minute read

Can Silicon Valley be replicated?

24 April 2013

Business hubs around the world are looking to attract international investment from innovative firms by recreating the success of Silicon Valley.

Technology firms are shaming other sectors of the global economy in terms of growth, largely thanks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are innovative and keen to expand. In Britain, research by Barclays shows internet companies are growing at a rate more than 50 times faster than the average GDP growth of 0.3%, with firms that sell their products or services mostly online seeing average revenues grow by 11.4% over the last three years.

In order to foster this rapidly growing sector, international business hubs are creating tech cities that build on the success of California’s Silicon Valley. Home to multinational firms such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook, there has been a plethora of successful businesses which have all grown thanks to a relatively enterprise-friendly tax system and the space for companies to expand.

Deborah Perry Piscione, author of Secrets of Silicon Valley, talked to CityAM about the possibility of replicating this business region elsewhere in the world. Dispelling myths that the Valley’s success was a natural occurrence, she credited local authorities for decades of forward-thinking and investment decisions, as well as pointing to the entrepreneurial spirit that has come from leading tech visionaries.

“Silicon Valley is not just a geographic location, but a mindset. And while the place cannot be exactly replicated, the mindset can,” she said, pointing to the value placed on every person in the company, as well as the value placed on ideas and the ability to innovate as key to the growth of new tech cities.


London is notoriously good at thinking ahead. Canary Wharf, for example, was at the forefront of a financial services boom that propelled the city as the financial capital of the world. It is no surprise, therefore, that the British capital is looking to do the same thing in the tech sector.

Its Tech City, colloquially referred to as Silicon Roundabout, has seen hundreds of new startups emerge. Figures from Google, which opened its campus hub for fostering new technology firms just over a year ago, revealed that one in four companies located in the tech hub are already moving on to bigger facilities, underlining the rapid growth being seen in the area.

Surprise locations

CNBC recently revealed many surprise locations that are fervently increasing their business activity in the tech realm. Zurich in Switzerland is now home to more than 60 technology parks and several venture funds and is attracting entrepreneurs from around Europe at an astonishing rate. Stockholm in Sweden has also acted quick to attract growing firms, with Oulu in Finland making similar moves. Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Copenhagen in Denmark have also seen huge rises in technology-related entrepreneurial activity.

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