Should Your Start-Up Be in Silicon Valley – YES! Does It Have to Be Based There – NO!

You’ve probably heard it before, “If you’re a start-up and want to really be in the game, you had better be in Silicon Valley!”

Silicon Valley / SF Bay Area Region, continues to be the global start-up epicenter in terms of Investors, Customers, Partners, Events, Workforce,  Advisors, Luminaries, Influencers. Every year it ranks #1  in most key start-up categories; Funding, Exits / Exit Value, Mindset, Support System, Deal Flow. However, the truth is you don’t have to be “based” in Silicon Valley to leverage the Valley’s tremendous start-up advantages and ecosystem.  In fact you may be better served to be based elsewhere.

Today smart start-ups are utilizing a global start-up ecsosystem in a geo-diverse way that looks to take advantage of different regions strengths and benefits. Regions like Silicon Valley present both advantages and disadvantages. There’s no doubt, if you have a start-up you’ll likely want to be in the valley to optimize your ability to network and connect with key start-up partners, investors and luminaries as this can play a significant role in on your ability to cut key deals and generate an optimal exit down the road. But, you’ll also encounter major drawbacks / disadvantages in the form of increased start-up costs and competition for manpower and office space. The trick is can you find a way to be in the Valley to leverage its key upsides without exposing your start-up to it’s downsides.

How Companies Are Using Geo Diverse Company Operations to Optimize Performance

So how exactly are savvy start-ups all over the world using the global start-up ecosystem in a geo-diverse way that allows them to “be in the valley”, take advantage of the valley’s upsides, eliminate the valley’s downsides,  while leveraging the advantages of being based elsewhere?

You’ve likely seen examples of this…

The Entrepreneur who has 95% of his development team based/operating in Asia where manpower and office space advantages exist, while he lives/focuses on relationships and business deals in the Valley. Or the Canadian based company that leverages their regions strong government funding and friendly employee visa programs, while deploying a nimble Business Development team in the valley.

More and more companies are realizing the tremendous operational advantages of deploying effective geo-diverse operational structures. Putting the right functional pieces of the company in the right geographic locations.

The truth is every start-up should have a presence in the valley, but that doesn’t mean you have to be based in the Valley, only that you use a smart/savvy geo diverse operational structure.


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