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Is Silicon Valley the Best Entrepreneurial Region: Fact or Myth?



New Member
The US is inspiring and pioneered Venture Capital. Often, non-Americans (and even some Americans) believe that Silicon Valley is the role model to follow for new venture creation and provides the best entrepreneurial experience. However, nowadays everyone can easily glean lessons from all around the world about entrepreneurship and business financing etc. This has accelerated in the last ten years due to the growth of the Internet, social networks and blogs and the proliferation of business schools worldwide. Also, Governments have invested heavily into regional development of innovation clusters.

My philosophy is that, no matter what you do, companies end up performing in a regional culture with set behaviours - so the Silicon Valley model does not fully translate to e.g. Paris, Tokyo or Glasgow! Entrepreneurs will do what they do by mainly using their "national" knowledge.

To prove my point, the financial returns of the investment funds of Venture Capitalists in the rest of America and Europe are now identical to those in Silicon Valley! The national or regional Venture Capitalists invest in the best entrepreneurs within their region who have knowledge of national business infrastructure and an international understanding of their industry.

There are many paths to success: Silicon Valley's is no longer the sole route so let's have more faith in our national business infrastructure and our native entrepreneurial population.

Best business tip: success is not by emulation - but by adaptation of global information to your national situation!

Frank F Craig PhD MBA, Chief Executive, Life Sciences Consultancy Limited.


New Member
Re: Is Silicon Valley the Best Entrepreneurial Region: Fact or My

The reason that Silicon Valley companies did so well is that the US banks and certain VCs saw what was going on, realised its significance, decided they wanted some of the action and proactively sought out deals.

The key word here is proactive.... Scottish VCs and other investors tend to sit on their rear ends and wait for deals to come to them generally via intermediaries who tend to be accountants. I do not expect this to change.

My view on business schools and the MBA have been aired elsewhere. However I would summarise it by asking people to note that the proliferation of the MBA coincided perfectly with two things. One is the massive shift towards services particularly in the UK but also in the USA. The other is the onset of the use of exotic financial mechanisms and a collapse in ethical behaviour within the financial services sector.

I would add that I have little faith in our national business infrastructure but am often surprised by the obstinacy of our native entrepreneurial population and its refusal to lie down.

Even I am planning another start-up !!:thumbup:


New Member
Re: Is Silicon Valley the Best Entrepreneurial Region: Fact or My

Hi there,

I can relate to your view. I have raised VC in both California and in the UK. In each case, the Senior Management team did their own business plan, "reasonable corporate finance models" and raised their own cash with no help from accountants or corporate finance experts. I have noted that in Scotland (not so sure about England),there is a plethora of corporate finance purveyors throwing themselves at entrepreneurs as the "conduit to finance". Of course, they have to make a living so they have to charge a commission. The VCs all work in the Financial Services community so may or may not trust more "their own". No matter what the corporate finance intermediary does, the VC will end up investing in the Lead Entrepreneur and the management team in general so the corporate finance person only has a minor influence.

So my argument is this "Entrepreneurs do not always need corporate finance specialists as we can easily by pass them and approach the Private Equity houses ourselves". There are no more than about 15 angel syndicates in Scotland and most of the VCs are listed on the BVCA web site.

So spend half a day and profile your firm, identify likely investors then just send in your business plan or give them a call. The BVCA web site has a useful on-line search facility which will soon tell you the firms that could invest in your company. Talk to a few at a time and learn from each one to improve your plan or pitch. By the time you have met a few, you should have a highly polished plan!

So go on, lets cut out the middlemen and improve our ROI.

Entrepreneurs Unite. The Revolution has begun.


New Member
Re: Is Silicon Valley the Best Entrepreneurial Region: Fact or My

I remember seeing a documentery about a .com start-up... I think the film was called ".com, boom or bust" but i cant find it anywhere!

This company were trying to set up a government pay site where people could pay fines and tax online. Before they had any proof of concept (bearing in mind this was before the likes of paypal and worldpay were a common way of paying for things, mabey before they were invented) VC's were putting tens of millions of dollars into the new company.

That kind of funding would never be available to start-up's in the UK. America is set up for the entrepreneurial approach- if you go bankrupt in the US it has always been easier to start again and try something new (just look at the likes of Donald Trump, bankrupt 3 times- went on to become a billionaire)

However, I think it also has alot to do with the culture of the country- and of the times... America- land of oppourtunity and all that... Saying that go back 6 or 7 years in the UK every one wanted to be famous, nowadays alot of young people want to set up a business- thanks- no doubt to the likes of Dragons Den and The Aprentice.

Silicon Valley the Best Entrepreneurial Region? perhaps? But the UK is fast catching up!


(P.s- the company that set up the government pay site went bust)


New Member
At first it might have been. Now it seems to me that there are more promising projects.