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Twelve Secrets of Silicon Valley

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Elton Sherwin’s presentation to Senior Commercial Officers of the US Department of Commerce about what makes Silicon Valley unique and how to clone the valley’s engine of economic development …

Elton Sherwin’s presentation to Senior Commercial Officers of the US Department of Commerce about what makes Silicon Valley unique and how to clone the valley’s engine of economic development elsewhere. PowerPoint with audio: Twelve secrets in 12 minutes.

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  • 1. Twelve Secrets of Silicon Valley Presentation by Elton Sherwin toSenior Commercial Officers US Department of Commerce May 12, 2011 Plug and Play Tech Center Sunnyvale, California
  • 2. Twelve Secrets of Silicon Valley Recipes Any State Can Copy
  • 3. Elton B. Sherwin Senior Managing Director Ridgewood Capital www.EltonSherwin.com Presentations and checklists:www.EltonSherwin.com/documents.html and www.slideshare.net/EltonSherwin
  • 4. Twelve “Easy” Steps to Clone Silicon Valleyand Encourage Economic Development
  • 5. #1 Build a Great University
  • 6. Great University Formula• Starts as a good university – Add a big endowment for research• Attract people around the world• Fund young research professors – Limit their teaching load – Let them manage their own research • Young professors tightly supervised won’t work – Ideas for most Nobel Prizes under 35 years old• Encourage professors to start businesses – Take board seats and work for the university
  • 7. #2 Keep the Best Students• Keep top 2-5% students permanently – Post doc fellowships – Jobs – Each creates another 10 jobs• Like sports teams – Never win if only recruit locally – Recruit world class – Keep the best
  • 8. #3 Welcome Minorities• Multi-cultural teams win – True in sports, true in business• Recruit PhDs wherever there is a war or repressive regime – Rescue the brightest and their families
  • 9. #4 Be Inviting• Look sharp: Appearance matters• Quaint downtown with good parking 1 block away
  • 10. #5 Ongoing Adult Education• “Junior colleges”• Continuing studies programs• Part-time MBA programs• Trade schools• Night schools• Retrain – 28-year old drummer – 48-year old second career Foothill College
  • 11. #6 High Status for WomenSocieties that undervalue and underpay women innovate poorly
  • 12. #7 Good, Safe Public Schools• World’s top talent wants good schools for their children – Successfully multi-cultural – Safe
  • 13. #8 Environmentally Sustainable• Value engineering skills• Agricultural or environmental focus• Focus on sustainability Jasper Ridge at Stanford
  • 14. #9 Celebrate and Build a Brand – Centers of competency – Conferences – Conventions – Festivals – Large annual events – Contests
  • 15. #10 Employees with “Change the World Mentality”• California Educated• Worked at a California Start-up
  • 16. #11 Good Laws• Fairness/rule of law – Low levels of bribery• Easy to start a business• Easy to own a business• Contracts work• Property rights• Inheritance laws• Lawyers
  • 17. #12 Money for New Businesses• Angels – Perhaps the most important – Exclusive club with privileges (lunch w/ Governor)• Venture capital• Small Business Innovation Research (SBIRs)• Government contracts••• Small business loans Inventory financing Equipment financing $
  • 18. Cities to Study• Silicon Valley (Stanford)• North San Diego (UC San Diego)• Davis (UC Davis)• San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly)
  • 19. SuperSynergySuperSynergy: Magic combination of three things1. Research university2. Big anchor tenant: Corporate headquarters • Company with significant technology presence3. Edge metropolitan area with an airport • Investors can fly in
  • 20. SuperSynergyTwo Parents: A Thousand Children•Stanford and Hewlett Packard – Intel, Cisco, Sun, Oracle, Google, Facebook…•UC San Diego and Qualcomm – Over 1,000 young companies in the surrounding ecosystemCo-locate university and a technologypowerhouse – Edge of city with an airport
  • 21. Summary1. Build a Great University2. Keep the Best Students3. Welcome Minorities4. Be Inviting – Look Sharp5. Ongoing Adult Education6. High Status for Women7. Good, Safe Public Schools8. Environmentally Sustainable9. Celebrate and Build a Brand10. Employees with “change the world mentality”11. Good Laws12. Money for New Business
  • 22. Case Studies