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What Britain can learn from Silicon Valley

5 Mins

Silicon Valley has been the birth place of some of the world’s most exciting, successful and profitable businesses. 

Earlier this year I started working for Haatch, setting up its operations in the Silicon Valley; finding promising entrepreneurs and digital start-ups for the Haatch team to invest its ‘smart money’ in and help nurture them into successful and profitable businesses, alongside providing up-front capital investment.

The Silicon Valley has become synonymous with business success and is a hot bed for start-up businesses with a rich tradition of developing into successful businesses. It is for these very reasons that when Haatch looked at opening a US operation our first choice was this particular region of California.

We have been up and running out here on the west coast of America for a couple of months now and it is plain to see just why the region has been so successful in nurturing young businesses.

It is all work – even when it’s fun

I read a stat quite a few years ago that said the Americans worked more hours than anyone else on the globe. I’m not sure if it’s true, but from the morning commute which seems to start at 5am, to the evening Meet-ups that tend to go until 10pm, the lifestyle is very work orientated – which is perfect for young businesses. 

The weather helps support the scene and stimulates a healthy lifestyle orientated around business. For instance there are Founder Hikes along Lexington Dam and on Fridays there are business events at Mountain View’s Sports Page where you can play volleyball outside. This enables people to conduct productive meetings in a nice, relaxed environment which is conducive to making a start-up a success.

The fast pace is ideal for start-ups

I am a member of 28 meet-up groups for entrepreneurs, start-ups, investing etc. This has enabled me to very quickly embed myself in the scene, find out about innovative ideas and find out who might be seeking investment. 

There seems to be a meet-up every day of the week and this really helps the business community to connect and creates a veritable gold mine of potential innovators! It is worth pointing out that Meetup.com is for anyone and anything. It’s so fast paced out here and people are constantly innovating.

Confidence and Optimism are key

The market in the Silicon Valley seems very mature. There seems to be two main numbers for seed level start-ups out here, $500k and $1 million. Everyone expects that they will get funded. I have meet with some start-ups that only have months of burn left in their budgets but they still seem confident. There is just so much to be said for the ecosystem and positive nature of that comment. People are willing try and try and all the while remain sure it will work out until it doesn’t.

It’s competitive in favour of the seller

It really is a seller’s market. Whilst the investor ultimately still holds all the cards you can see them competing with each other. Surprisingly this manifests in a positive attitude where friendly banter with each other is prevalent. This positivity between investors is probably key to the attitude start-ups have across the region, whereby they really believe they are going to succeed. 

All start-ups need that positivity if they are to succeed and that probably sums up the area and why it is the perfect environment for any entrepreneur or business to hatch! I’m really looking forward to speaking to more digital whizzes and Haatching even more ideas in the future!

Related: There’s no better place to start a tech company than London

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