East Coast cities band together to compete with Silicon Valley

Global Business

East Coast cities band together to compete with Silicon Valley

Facebook, Apple, and Alphabet –the parent company of Google. Firms headquartered there are the biggest recipients of venture capital funding by far.

But other east coast business hubs in North America are banding together building their own startup communities that could one day surpass Silicon Valley. CGTN America’s Karina Huber reports.

This gathering brings together companies from two of the largest tech hubs on the North American East Coast. They have joined forces in a new collaboration that could give Silicon Valley a run for its money.

“Our goal is really to help our companies accelerate their growth, better connect them to corporates, investors, talent and each of our ecosystems and build a collaborative relationship between Toronto and New York City,” Salim Teja, President of Venture Services at MaRS said.

The collaboration is centered around Grand Central Tech– a 9300 square meter space in New York that is home to more than 100 startups and Toronto’s largest tech incubator known as MaRS. Companies from both sites can now set up offices in each other’s spaces to harness talent, capital and ideas from both markets. The hope is to create global success stories – like many of those headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Matt Harrigan, Co-Founder of Grand Central Tech said the eco-system in Silicon Valley is tough to beat but being in New York has its own advantages.

“We have a higher concentration of fortune 500 companies than any other city and as a result there exists an opportunity to turn that into a competitive advantage for startups who locate themselves here,” said Harrigan.

Raising capital is always a challenge but New York has made some gains. In the third quarter of this year, New York startups attracted 4.2 billion dollars in venture capital funding, surpassing the San Francisco area’s 4.1 billion. More than half of the NY funding went to one company, WeWork.

Access to talent has also improved in New York thanks in part to the arrival of Cornell Tech – a new engineering graduate school that opened in 2012. Several Universities in the Toronto region also have a reputation for their strong computer science programs. Harrigan says Toronto and New York have another edge: a diversity of sectors. “So I think increasingly startups are realizing that being in less of a mono-culture, let’s call it, than San Francisco might be advantageous in terms of enriching their perspective on what they’re trying to accomplish,” said Teja.