This week, the World Economic Forum will host a series of workshops with members of its Technology Pioneer and Global Growth Company communities. Discussions will focus on talent acquisition and ways of accelerating performance and growth. The choice of venue, Silicon Valley, could not be more appropriate. Home to the world’s leading tech companies and thousands of start-ups, the region is the high-tech hub par excellence.
But advances in technology are shaking up the world of start-ups. Today, companies can be “started” by very small teams from almost any location. This is in part thanks to the commoditization of technology and hosted infrastructure, which has given birth to an environment where most high-value start-ups are essentially just user interfaces to data coming off the cloud.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are some of the most notable examples of this type of high-value company, but there are many new ones on the way. The next big tech success story could literally come from anywhere. Indeed, in the past three years, I have seed funded five start-ups from Australia, two from Japan, two from the UK and one from Brazil. Compare this to my first 20 years in venture capital, where I didn’t seed fund a single non-US start-up, and this gives you an idea of the scale of the change.
Of course, there is still no better place to establish and grow a start-up than in Silicon Valley. The concentration of talent, number of innovative companies and cutting-edge technological developments all make for a unique environment. If these Forum workshops can tap into even a small part of this, we can be sure to leave with some valuable insights.
In a series of blog posts, leading voices from the Forum’s Technology Pioneers and Global Growth Companiesshare their views on innovation and growth. The series is part of the Technology Pioneers and Global Growth Companies Communities’ Workshops in Palo Alto, California, 27-29 June 2013.
Author: Bill Tai is General Partner at Charles River Ventures (CRV). @KiteVC
Image: A designer works on his computer in California REUTERS/Robert Galbraith