Silicon Valley can be compared to a Mecca for startups and entrepreneurs. Every person that wants to start their own startup needs to come here at least once in their lifetime, and attend the startup events that are happening here. Because there are a lot!
You probably wouldn’t even know which one to choose, simply because you can’t be present in more than one place at the same time. I still hope that someday someone will invent teleportation :)).
[ Photo credits: Peter Thoeny – Quality HDR Photography’s Flickr ]
Why come to Silicon Valley?
There can be different scenarios here. Entrepreneurs want to come to Silicon Valley to meet investors, business partners, basically live in an environment where they’ll have access to all the resources they need to build their own startup. Startups move to Silicon Valley, since here is also a great place for them to grow, and attract investors.
As we can see, no matter who decides to come to Silicon Valley, they all do it for the same reasons. Entrepreneurs are always looking for great places to develop their business, and they know that the Valley is the place to be. Startup events are the main ingredient why startups are so attracted to Silicon Valley. The most important investors, accelerators, and incubators come to these events to look for new talents, new ideas, fresh startups.
For example, Y Combinator is probably the most prestigious seed accelerator. Each year, hundreds of startups apply to be part of their program. Their program specifically requires that if your startup gets in, you need to move to Silicon Valley for 3 months. That’s how long the program lasts.
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It’s a startup events frenzy
Along with startup events, there are also a lot of meet ups. The Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs & Startups meet up has been founded in 2007, and since then they managed to organize 325 meetups, and still counting. The group has 16.447 dreamers, as they call themselves. That’s pretty impressive for a meet up. Not many are this big. The meet up’s topic varies every time. They have a monthly pitch, a startup boot camp, a startup contest, and they also have social activities, like biking or hiking.
The main and important difference between meet ups and startup events is that a meet up acts like a community, and takes place regularly. You can be part of a community for as long as possible, and because you’ll meet with the same people over and over again, you’ll start to get to know each other better, and you’ll start bonding. Whereas startup events can be more formal. Sometimes, but not necessarily. For some, it may be harder to get in touch with investors, or go up to them, and they could find it easier to just be part of a community. Of course, they don’t have to stop there. Attending a meet up can be the first step towards presenting their startup to other influential people.
As you can see here, November is a pretty busy month in Silicon Valley, and it was in October as well. Startup events happen every day. It’s only a matter of filtering through them, and choosing the accelerator program you’re most interested in, the one that suits your interests the best.
For some time now, people have been starting to say bad things about Silicon Valley. Whether it’s about the fact that it’s an illusion to think that you’re going to get investors for your startup, or it’s too hard to be picked up, and some even say that the Valley has started to invest in the wrong ideas.
A while ago, I wrote an article, giving you an overview on Asia’s startup world. The research I made for the article proved to me that Silicon Valley is not the only place to succeed. I think that it will continue to be associated with the startup hub of the USA for a while, until more and more startups will focus their attention towards other startup hubs, such as Asia.
I think that the reason why many entrepreneurs choose Silicon Valley, is because of its hype. When you hear about it, something just clicks in your head, and your mind shifts to auto-pilot. This is almost something we can’t control. It’s like buying clothes from a certain brand, not because we love the clothes so much, but because people talk about the brand so much, that you just have to get it as well.
Don’t rely only on the abundance of startup events
If you see gold, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the money to buy it. Inna Efimchik, a Partner at White Summers Caffee & James LLP, a Silicon Valley & San Francisco based Law Firm, wrote an article where she talked about what you need before you decide to head out to Silicon Valley. In the beginning of the article, she points out that there is definitely a right time to attract investors. Who would have thought?
If your startup checks a few things from the list, then it’s time to prepare for your trip. Research investors, venture capitalists, accelerators, and the sort of potential business partners you want to meet. Showing up at startup events without at least emailing first a certain investor is not a good idea. You’ll get more chances of getting recognized, or get people to talk to you if they remember the fact that you sent them an email (even if they didn’t read it).
Given the fact that her law firm is based in Silicon Valley, I think she knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she gives you tips on where you can stay, what’s the transportation like, and other cool things you can do while you’re there. For more tips, read her article to find out everything you need to know about the Valley.
The competition in Silicon Valley is fierce. Not all startups make it. Not even half. So, why all this madness? Is it a good thing that there are so many startup events? Or does it just create clutter? If you had the opportunity, would you move your startup to Silicon Valley? Let me know down in the comments what your thoughts are.
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