Can Silicon Valley be Replicated Overseas Effectively?

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By Jacob Maslow

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Buildings of the Oracle Corporation. Founded in 1977, the Oracle Corporation is a high technology computer software and hardware corporation with headquarters in Redwood City, CA, USA.

If you’re looking for a place to credit or blame for America’s computing and software superiority, it is Silicon Valley. Most tech companies that are worth their salt and have a huge impact are based in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is responsible for some of the biggest brand names in global technology.

Interestingly enough, the reason Silicon Valley is so dominant in the global tech landscape is because of the very supportive financial and legal ecosystem that has developed in the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley in general. Law firms, venture firms, financiers, accounting firms, and other major players help form a supportive ecosystem of professional services that helps nurture technology startups from idea to multibillion dollar companies. The most startling element to all this is that it’s all done using an open system. In other words, this is not a government program. People aren’t forced to do this. There’s no monopoly shifting resources to certain entrepreneurs and not others. It’s all done in a free, willing, give-and-take open market system.

With that said, is it possible to replicate such a system overseas? After all, Americans don’t have a monopoly on great tech ideas. Here are three overseas tech startup development models that I have detected. They are models for the rest of the world.

The Israeli model

Israel is known for being a hotbed of technological innovation. There are so many software companies in Israel tackling both mobile apps, traditional software, and Internet technology. The reason Israel is benefiting from this diversity of technology firms is because it has all the key ingredients to replicate Silicon Valley in the Middle East.

First, there’s a great labor source in Israel. Its army is famed for its high level of technical training. Not surprisingly, many Israeli army veterans are excellent coders and software engineers. Second, the Israeli model has a great infrastructure. If you’re talking about fast data lines as well as a thorough data connection to Europe and elsewhere, Israel has it. Finally, any startup needs money to develop and grow. Israel has enough capital support to enable entrepreneurs to access the capital they need to develop fully and scale up their operations.

The Chilean model

In Chile, the government is very active in trying to create a high-tech hub for South America. The Chilean government has been funding an aggressive technology incubation program based in Santiago, the capital of Chile. This model is highly directed by the government. It exists primarily due to government initiative. There’s a high level of government encouragement in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, and other financial and non-financial support.

The only hold up to the Chilean model is that it has a weak labor source. In terms of local population’s skills set, there are not enough engineers to plug into a growing base of tech startups. Either Chile has to import these people or this labor shortage is going to impede the growth of the Chilean version of Silicon Valley. Add to this the spotty data infrastructure of Chile as a whole and you can see why there are some serious headwinds preventing the Chilean model from fully taking wing and developing.

The Singapore model

In Singapore, its version of Silicon Valley has a great infrastructure, has a lot of capital access, and has great government support. In fact, it’s tempting to think that Singapore is the great incubator capital of Southeast Asia. If you compare Singapore to other neighboring countries, this is absolutely true. However, if you compare Singapore to Silicon Valley or to Israel, Singapore is relatively weak. Why? It has a weak labor force. It has to import talent for it to feed the tech requirements of its quickly expanding technology startup base.

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