Every now and again, it’s good to get out of Silicon Valley to visit other regions — if only just to put Silicon Valley into perspective.
I’ve just finished a trip around various U.S. tech hubs in order to scout companies for DEMO, the conference I’m co-producing in September, to showcase the best technology products around.
I visited Washington DC, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, and Austin — and in all, I found examples of bubbling entrepreneurial activity, and a pride in what are clearly growing regions of technology strength. We’ve found a few DEMO-worthy companies in each place. In each of these cities, all with their own strengths and charm, there are support systems to help startups thrive. In LA, for example, Francisco Dao is as fired up as ever about making the city’s start-up conference Twiistup, a bigger success than ever. In Austin, there’s the Capital Factory, a group which emerged a few months ago to help incubate start-ups.
However, none of these cities are even close to getting what Silicon Valley has. So don’t worry, Silicon Valley, you still rule. The sheer density and diversity of engineering talent is going to keep the valley in front of trends — both nationally and internationally — for a while to come. I’ll be writing more clearly about this on Monday.
That said, DEMO co-producer Chris Shipley and I threw a cocktail meetup in Austin last night, and had a blast. Thanks for coming, everybody. Some pics below, courtesy of Eugene Hsu.