Startups are better built in clusters, this way they can leverage on their talents and network. An environment like that promotes healthy competition. There are a lot of startups in Silicon Valley , Boston, Seattle, New York and the list goes on in the US . These cities are attractive to startups because of many reasons. Each startup will tell you why they moved to one city over the other and why they intend to leave their current city for another. Paul Graham is of the view that America is producing startup hubs because US allows immigration, is a rich country, The US Is Not (Yet) a Police State, American Universities Are Better, In America Work Is Less Identified with Employment, America Has Venture Funding and a host of other reasons.
All of this may be true, but I believe some cities in Europe have some of these attributes. But the big question I have is why the cities in Europe are not as attractive as Silicon Valley or Boston or even Seattle. Startups even move from their cities to the US, making the situation worse for the cities in Europe. Is it the government who makes a conscious effort to make the city attractive or is it a natural order as startups or the creative class begins to move to certain cities. Was silicon valley planned to be the way it is today or it just occurred as a result of the movement of the creative class. But I believe there was something attractive about it before people started to move there.
Governments can make the conscious effort to make their countries attractive to startups. Startup visa has sparked a lot of debate in the US. The mere fact that a section of the American people want to attract startups to the US should tell you that they are still making some effort to make the country attractive for startups. In the long term it is for the greater good of America. More jobs, a boost in economy and an increase in the creative class. America’s domestic market is huge and that in itself is attractive to a lot of startups. That is one of the reasons why most startups want to build for the US.
In recent times Countries like Russia, Ireland, England and Germany have made the effort to make their countries attractive to startups. Cisco is already aiming to pump $1B into Russia’s startup city. The laws may be different from country to country, even within the European Union. Hopefully a lot will change in the future.
For a silicon Valley to happen the country or city will needs the right infrastructure, favorable Laws, Venture Fund organizations that are willing to fund the startups, the right employment Laws, conducive immigration Laws, an attractive domestic market and the talent you can hire. Europe is still searching for its Silicon Valley, I hope the ‘silicon valley’ of Europe will found soon for the greater good of all startups.