Silicon-whatever is the craze. Whether it’s a city hall or community, everyone wants to be Silicon Valley-style. They want to have a top notch STEM college, lots of cool companies and trendy restaurants around – just like the Bay Area.
Some advice for the local Chamber of Commerces: I would not copy that model. Instead, create your own ecosystem.
Thinking about the Bay Area, the right confluence of factors came together to create a unique place. Certain institutions were in place and the right individuals brought the environment to a new level. In that specific place, there was a culture of tinkering and innovation and thinking big.
Each community is different and has its own strengths.
The research institutions and world-class hospitals created the bioinformatic Boston area giants. Austin, Boulder and even Manchester are entrants to creating world class companies, each with their own flair.
It takes innovative people (mostly fresh from school), experienced thinkers (funders and mentors) and a willingness to accept people that are different (the community at large). Those things can be put together in a million ways.
Thomas Friedman and Richard Florida have written about how talent is mobile but likes to cluster together. Leverage the things that draw people to your community and make them stronger. Talk about your strengths and forget the rest.
Rather than try to copy, create your own place. Make your own name and develop your own ecosystem.