When you think of innovation when it comes to business and technology there is one go-to place. Silicon Valley is the nest for innovative companies looking to get their start. It’s a place where entrepreneurs the businesspeople flock to in order to bring all of their wacky and wonderful dreams to fruition. Silicon Valley has a lot of history tied in with it, but there are places all over the world where people settle due to the welcoming of innovation. There are places where innovation is not only welcomed but gladly invited in and following the main path isn’t exactly par for the course. We asked entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs where the best places in the world were to be innovators.
Silicon Valley might be the king as far as technology bases go, but that doesn’t stop other spots from nipping at their heels. Jamie Walker of SweatGuru says there is a new innovation hotbed in town. “Silicon Valley is known for its continuous innovation in the field of technology, and San Francisco is no exception. More and more tech startups are launching from within city limits each week. It's an exciting place to live and work; the atmosphere of innovation is palpable. In relation to our business, working in SoMa has brought us closer to both our clients (boutique fitness businesses, which are highly popular in the city) and the other small companies that we grow with and learn from. In fact, we share our office space with another tech startup, and having two highly-motivated teams under the same roof not only helps to push all of us to work harder, but also allows us to gain the benefit of another perspective on occasion. Our businesses may be different, but our goals are the same– to keep evolving, improving and creating– so it's an ideal environment in which to work.”
Living in a certain place can give you a special insight into how a place evolves. Matthew Reischer, Esq. has been lucky enough to see his hometown become a place where innovation thrives. “As a Flushing, New York, Borough of Queens born native I think my home town is a fantastic location for the facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship. Living in Flushing, NY for 35 years I have seen a change and dynamism that doesn’t exist in most places and practically makes most locales in the world look like they are standing still. The competition in New York generally and my hometown of Flushing in particular is an incubator for hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs looking to achieve the American dream. There are dim-sum houses, whole sale clothing importers, law firms, gourmet Italian delicatessens and an assortment of multi-varied small businesses that at their core are people trying to innovate and compete at the most basic market level. I have an office in Flushing for my business LegalAdvice.com and the entrepreneurial energy I get from hometown is to my mind like no other place I have traveled.”
Until you have been in a place for longer than a few days it might not do well to listen to what other people have to say. Entrepreneur Ashley Black has experienced firsthand the excitement and innovation certain places have. “I saw that you requested an expert on living in an innovative place. I know about this first hand, because I live every other week between Houston and Los Angeles for this exact reason. I spent 15 years in markets in Texas and the Midwest with a very innovative brick and mortar business in the emerging body work field of fascia, the connective tissue. The work we were doing attracted professional athletes and a lot of hype, but I still found it difficult to launch my knowledge and physical products in the “we don't get it” markets. I began traveling to LA about once a quarter until it became apparent that I needed to be there on a regular basis, if I wanted the relationships that cultivate a sense of “you're not crazy, you can do this, and I did it too”. That is a drastic contrast to the environment where I was told that I had pipe dreams or that what I wanted was a fantasy outcome. I have been in LA 1.5 years and it has been a rocket ship journey ever since. I would be happy to discuss my endeavors and tell fellow entrepreneurs why they are not bound by their geography and how life changing it can be take a leap of faith.”
Innovation can happen anywhere. It happens in basements, bedrooms, and even in cars. While innovation happens anywhere, being in a place where it’s encouraged can help that innovation continue to grow and blossom. As any entrepreneur can attest, a place which welcomes innovation is a pretty great place to be.