When it comes to startups, it’s impossible to ignore Silicon Valley. Considered by many to be the “Mecca” of the startup world, this city located in the “Golden State” is the breeding ground for entrepreneurs from all over. In spite of all the entrepreneurial jollies this utopia brings to all those who set up their businesses there, Silicon Valley has been experiencing a visible shift in demographics over the past few years. According to a study conducted by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project, the California tech corridor lost more than 7,500 residents in 2015.
Here are three entrepreneurs who took a U-Turn from Silicon Valley to set up their businesses in startup ecosystems elsewhere.
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With a well-placed job at Silicon Valley for over a decade, rolling out products for Fortune 500 companies and many startups, Srinivas Krishnaswamy was inspired by entrepreneurial success stories to put his knowledge to use and start a business of his own. To his dismay, his visa status in the US did not allow him to do this. Hence, after the much celebrated introduction of the Make In India project, he decided to come back to India and set up his dream project here. After learning the entrepreneurial lessons the hard way and realising that the startup ecosystem in India is grossly different from anywhere else, he founded Jodilogik, a part of Makeover Magic Solutions, which provides an opportunity for people to create customised bio data for matrimonial profiles. His constant efforts have also enabled him to join the ranks of the third largest startup entrepreneur group in the world.
Talking about starting a business at Silicon Valley, Chirag says, “Through experience, and after hearing some of the stories about retention, hiring, and recruiting technical talent, I learned that the San Francisco Bay Area may not be what it's all meant to be,” as stated by Inc. Based in Boston, Chirag Kulkarni of Insightfully is a tech entrepreneur who feels that not every tech startup needs to move to Silicon Valley in order to be successful. With his business, Chirag has been able to leverage the startup ecosystem in Boston.
Shane, the Founder of Helpified, an online micro-learning platform for teams, extended his user base up to 1 million not in Silicon Valley but right from his parents' kitchen table in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Shane strongly believes that as long as you have a vision, talent and fit market, you can succeed anywhere. “The Valley is great if I'm building a product for companies specifically in the Valley, but I wasn't. It also forced me to use the Web to my advantage. You have access to millions of people, potential customers, mentors, partners online,” he said in an article in Inc.
Silicon might be the “holy grail” of startups for many, but there are always exceptions who choose to think otherwise, making them act and plan differently.