For some time now, it seems that many people (and media outlets) have been comparing Silicon Valley and NY’s Silicon Alley to see not only which one is the most entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, but which is the place to be if you are a startup. The latest take on this comes from the BBC News, who says NY as vying for the next big tech company to be based in its cosmopolitan center of the world. BBC interviewed two entrepreneurs from both coasts about what motivated them to choose their particular location to build their companies. Joseph Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Coursekit, told the BBC that for him, NY was the premier choice because he and his partner wanted their company headquarters to be close to a unique blend of industries to be in a city not just focused on tech. On the flip side, Paul Stamatiou, co-founder of picplum, stated the exact opposite, that the draw of the Valley for him is that everyone is focused on technology and that they all breathe and speak the language of startups.
In a related note, tech columnist Chris O’ Brien of the San Jose Mercury News said recently in an op-ed that though NY has made some great strides this past year to remake the city as tech capital (also claiming that it was hard to ignore when a guy like Mayor Bloomberg is the main cheerleader for the movement), such as, “plans for nine tech incubators with more to come along, a host of programs to turn those displaced bankers into entrepreneurs and millions of square feet of lab space to encourage the bioscience researchers at its universities to turn its work into startups.” However O’Brien points out that in Silicon Valley, startups raised $8.4 million in venture capital compared to NY’s $2.2 million in the first nine months of 2011, and that researchers admit that NY has a long way to go as plans like these (including the new Cornell science campus) could take years, if not decades to get the ball rolling.
In the end he digresses though, saying that for now, the two cities will continue in their “friendly” competition.