How Can a Transitioning Economy Attract and Retain Entrepreneurs?
Two days after the course description for the MOOC went live, Matt Yglesias from Slate wrote a great article entitled “Move Silicon Valley to Cleveland.” Friends from around the world sent me a link to the article. I exchanged emails with Matt (who I have never met before) about his article and my MOOC (and he was nice enough to send a tweet out to his followers about the MOOC).
Matt’s article pointed out some of the challenges that are accompanying the prosperity resulting from the success of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs such as gentrification. As Matt states, cities like Cleveland (and other developing economies) around would leap at the chance to attract the best and the brightest to move here and launch technology-based companies. There are some interesting efforts happening around the world in markets such as Chile with their Start-Up Chile initiative which are providing incentives to entrepreneurs to relocate to their communities. We have even done this in Cleveland with our local seed accelerators attracting talent from across the US to start their companies here such as Jennifer Jeng and Donna Lee coming from LA to Cleveland to start Mascot Secret at Bizdom. While transitioning economies can opportunistically attract talent to their communities, the reality is that Silicon Valley is not moving to Cleveland anytime soon and we have to figure out ways to do it ourselves through creative programs that support the growth of local entrepreneurs.