Best Practices

Round Up: Entrepreneurship Beyond Silicon Valley

Published Apr 25, 2017

Director of SourceLink Rob Williams

Rob Williams

Director of SourceLink. Covers all things related to growing entrepreneurial infrastructures.


Round Up: Entrepreneurship Beyond Silicon Valley

Working in entrepreneurship economic development, you have a stake in your community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. You’ve heard the dreaded comparison of your community to Silicon Valley as if it is the end-all, be-all bastion of entrepreneurship. The truth is Silicon Valley is just one place and not the standard for building a supportive entrepreneurial infrastructure that can (or should) be replicated across the country.

Frankly, having worked with regions stretching from Seattle to San Juan, I think Silicon Valley has much to learn from all of us. There are thousands of thriving entrepreneurially supportive communities across this nation of opportunity. What to know our secret?

We are not the Valley.

Do you, be unique and win where your community stands. Here’s the Round Up:


Why It’s So Hard to Build the Next Silicon Valley, Sarah McBride, 02/2017, Bloomberg

If you’re a champion of entrepreneurship in a community other than Silicon Valley be forewarned, this article may frustrate you. Sarah McBride traveled to Kansas City to compare the progress of a few years of entrepreneurship to the behemoth that is Silicon Valley.


Jeff Shackelford: Why would KC want to build the next Silicon Valley?, Jeff Shackelford, 04/2017, KCSourceLink

The previous article above stirred up a lot of heat in Kansas City and the surrounding region. Jeff Shackelford, executive director of the innovation-lead, proof-of-concept resource program Digital Sandbox KC, gives his rebuttal.


Dear Midwest: Stop trying to compete with Silicon Valley, Michael Helmstetter, 04/2017, VentureBeat

Ag tech entrepreneur and investor in Kansas City, Michael Helmstetter outlines the advantages entrepreneurs and their communities have from living and doing business in the Midwest.


The Roots of the New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida, 04/2017, City Lab

In this excerpt from his book, The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It, Richard Florida talks about the ever-growing gap between the middle class and the affluent, along with dense cities and rural areas and the resulting crisis affecting us all. It’s a fascinating read worth your time.

Director of SourceLink Rob Williams 
Rob Williams
is the director of SourceLink where he puts the “serve” in customer service, always available as support to SourceLink clients who are often the unsung entrepreneurial champions in their communities.