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Are Silicon Valley Founders Looking to Get Out of Town?


For as long as I have been alive, and well before that, Silicon Valley has been the hub of all things technology. The region has certainly gone through highs and lows, but it was always at the top. Even today, the valley still represents the hub of technology. There are, however, some trends and shifts underway that may eventually displace Silicon Valley.

On Thursday, Andy Sack – The Executive Director of Techstars Seattle – wrote an interesting blog post. The short post, entitled “Are Silicon Valley Startups Looking to Seattle for Greener Pastures?,” makes up for its brevity with some surprising insights. The post is well worht a read, but here is a selection that really rang with me:

I recently stumbled upon an interesting data point derived from our 2014 Techstars application process. Techstars Seattle received 65% more applications from San Francisco in 2014 compared to 2013, and 34% from California in general. Without revealing the nominal values, I can assure you it is a significant number of startups, and it puzzled me a little.

At first, I figured that if you can’t make it in Silicon Valley something must be wrong with the company. Until I looked further into the applicants. The majority of these startups were in fact very talented people with great ideas. Many of them ended up making it to the final rounds of our selection process and some even ended up being accepted for this year’s class. This lead to the question: “Are Silicon Valley startups looking to Seattle for greener pastures”?1

Although this is only one example, those are some pretty shocking statistics. It is hard to say whether or not this is an anomaly, but it is certainly worth following. What do you think? Is there a mass exodus from Silicon Valley underway, or is this just an aberration?

  1. Andy Sack, A Sack of Seattle, “Are Silicon Valley Startups Looking to Seattle for Greener Pastures?,” 7 August 2014