Silicon Valley– why it’s still best for entrepreneurs

December 8, 2011

Let Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ruminate all he wants about how if he were starting Facebook today, he’d do it in Boston. There’s still no substitute for Silicon Valley, according to a panel of venture capitalists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School offices in San Francisco.

Mostly, that’s because of the concentration of talent, particularly engineering and product talent, in the Bay Area, they said. Becoming a sizeable company without access to that pool is difficult for most tech-based startups, they said.

“You bring on the next great person,” said Andrew Trader of Maveron and a co-founder of gaming company Zynga. “That’s where you make the huge leaps.”

But it’s also because of the culture that allows entrepreneurs to draw lessons from botched start-ups. “Failure is still OK here, and that’s not the case everywhere,” said Jon Soberg of Blumberg Captial.

And efforts to replace those characteristics in other places just never seem to pan out. “People have talked about the next Silicon Valley for what– the last 20, 30 years,” said Rob Coneybeer of Shasta Ventures.

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