What is the meaning of term Silicon Valley?
Silicon Valley is a nickname for the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is located in the part of the U.S. state of California known as Northern California.
It is home to many of the world's largest high-tech corporations, as well as thousands of tech startup companies.
The word "valley" refers to the Santa Clara Valley where the region has traditionally been centered, which includes the city of San Jose and surrounding cities and towns
The word "silicon" originally referred to the large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers in the region.
The term "Silicon Valley" eventually came to refer to all high tech businesses in the area, and is now generally used as a metonym for the American high-technology economic sector
The Top 7 Cities Competing With Silicon Valley for Tech Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur and Consultant
August 24, 2017
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
- Salt Lake City, Utah
This Utah city sits between a line of locations that are creating an area set to rival Silicon Valley. From Ogden to Provo, the area has startup companies worth an estimated $12 billion as of mid 2017. The area is attractive for its reasonable real estate, tech talent from the local universities, and low taxes.
Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Utah No.1 in innovation and entrepreneurship as well as No. 2 in high-tech performance and No. 3 in economic performance in a study of all 50 states. The state also topped CNBC's America's Top States for Business list this year.
Related: The 4 Ingredients of Utah's Startup 'Secret Sauce'
- Tampa, Florida
Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment is investing $2 billion in reinventing the Tampa of the future as an incubator and preparing its infrastructure for growth. Investor Jeff Vinik, now owner of the city’s NHL Tampa Bay Lightning team, has joined him. The pair aims to help build a future for the more than 200 residents flocking to the city each day, according to a CNBC report.
“Top-tier tech graduates flock to Silicon Valley but pay dearly while living the dream,” says Dan Wesley, CEO of Tampa-based Quote.com. “We want to show there is much to be learned and the same salary to be earned, allowing talented employees to learn and grow professionally without them having to live in their cars in our parking lot because of the skyrocketing cost of rent.”
Related: 6 Alternatives to Silicon Valley With Better Weather Than Portland
- Huntsville, Alabama
The tech growth of Huntsville began in the 1950s, with the arrival of scientists working for the U.S. space program. Since then, Bloomberg reports that nearly 17 percent of the workforce is employed in a job related to science, technology, engineering or math. The city saw a 309 percent growth in tech jobs over the past year, as reported by CBS News.
Related: Step Aside, Silicon Valley: 7 Startups to Watch in the South
- St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis happens to be the home of the Ameren Accelerator Powered by University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate & Capital Innovators. This organization, which recently chose seven energy technology startups for its first-round cohort, aims to provide promising new companies with funding, perks, benefits, office space and intensive mentoring. The goal is for the accelerator program to help ensure their success and drive innovation in the energy industry that benefits future residents.Ameren CEO Warner Baxter points out, “The Ameren Accelerator is one of the first of its kind in the country to focus exclusively on energy technologies.”
The seven companies represent a group that is diverse not only geographically, but also in its members’ areas of expertise. Warner is also a member of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, an organization dedicated to attracting resources and people to St. Louis in order to help the city compete with the other tech juggernauts of the world.
Related: The Great Midwestern Tech Startup Surge
- Seattle, Washington
While it has been a tech hub for awhile now thanks to companies like Microsoft, the Seattle area is picking up the pace in terms of its incubation of tech startups. Recently, there has been tremendous growth in space startups. Combined with other factors, such as job growth, a healthy economy, and more reasonable real estate, reports indicate that many who are fleeing Silicon Valley are ending up in Seattle.
Related: This Group Mentors African American Entrepreneurs in Seattle
- Phoenix, Ariz.
The relatively close proximity of Phoenix to Silicon Valley definitely doesn’t hurt its status as a tech city, nor does the fact that the median home price is only $214,000, according to real estate listing site Zillow.
With a population of 1.5 million, the city is well-established, and the presence of companies such as Datashield, MST Solutions and General Dynamics has helped contribute to a one-year job increase of 188 percent in the technology sector.
Related: Succeeding Outside of Silicon Valley: How the Rest Will Rise
- Albany, New York
Albany has worked to create an ideal environment for tech companies and employees, and as a result, the city has enjoyed 161 percent tech job growth over the past year. The local universities ensure that companies in Albany have a well-educated talent pool to draw from, and the state government has also created tax breaks meant to attract investment in the city and contribute to its growth as a tech hub.
Related: How the Young Founder of Apprenda Landed $16 Million from Albany, N.Y.
No doubt Silicon Valley will retain the highest concentration of tech companies in the country for a number of years, but the bubble is beginning to approach its bursting point. In spite of the hefty salary afforded to many of the area’s tech jobs, employees are unable to keep up with skyrocketing real estate costs. Fortunately, other cities around the country are recognizing the advantages of attracting tech companies and working to position themselves as ideal locations.
What are the “Silicon Valleys” of other countries?
- Vancouver, British Columbia - home to Sony Pictures Imageworks, PMC-Sierra, Telus, Hootsuite, EA Canada, Vision Critical, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, andWestport Innovations
- Markham, Ontario - home to the Canadian head offices of Sony, Avaya, IBM, Motorola, Toshiba, Lucent, Sun Microsystems, Apple, American Express and AMD Graphics Product Group
- Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario - home to BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion), Open Text, Desire2Learn, and the Canadian head office of Google; home to the Communitech HUB start-up incubator
- Silicon Valley North - the National Capital Region around Ottawa, Ontario
- Greater Toronto Area - specifically Mississauga and Brampton
- Cité Multimédia, Montreal
- Automation Alley - Metropolitan Detroit (primarily Oakland County, Michigan)
- BRDG Research Park - Bio-Research and Development Growth Park - Creve Coeur, Missouri
- CORTEX Innovation Community (Center of Research, Technology & Entrepreneurial Exchange) - St. Louis, Missouri
- Cummings Research Park - Huntsville, Alabama
- Denver Tech Center - Denver, Colorado
- Dulles Technology Corridor - Northern Virginia near Washington Dulles Airport
- Eastside - Puget Sound
- Golden Corridor - Near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Northwest Suburbs
- Illinois Technology and Research Corridor - DuPage County, Illinois
- Missouri Research Park, affiliated with the University of Missouri System - St. Louis, Missouri
- Optics Valley - Tucson, Arizona
- Research Triangle - North Carolina
- Route 128 - Massachusetts
- Silicon Alley - New York City
- Silicon Hills - Austin, Texas and its suburbs
- Silicon Forest - Portland, Oregon
- Silicon Prairie - Metropolitan Dallas (primarily the northern region and its suburbs)
- Silicon Slopes - Salt Lake City, Utah including Utah County (Provo, Utah) and Summit County (Park City, Utah) and surrounding areas.
- Silicon Valley - San Jose, California and suburbs. San Francisco and other areas sometimes included as well.
- Tech Coast - Southern California
- Tech Valley - The Capital District area of Albany, NY
- Telecom Corridor (an area in the Silicon Prairie) - Richardson, suburb of Dallas, Texas
- Texas Medical Center - Houston, Texas
- Technopole of Algiers - Cyberparc of Sidi Abdallah (under construction)
- Konza Technology City - launched in 2013, and set to host business process outsourcing (BPO) ventures, a science park, and other facilities
- Dublin (known as "Silicon Docks" or "The European Silicon Valley", due to its high number of technological EMEA centres)