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Comparing Silicon Valley to the SCV

Important to create companies to keep jobs in the region

Posted: June 26, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 26, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Brian Tippy, co-founder of gabagoolgames and goalternav, and co-organizer of the 2012 SCV Startup Weekend, shares his insights comparing Silicon Valley to Santa Clarita on Monday.


Santa Clarita startup entrepreneur Brian Tippy gave people a glimpse of the culture that immerses Silicon Valley at the monthly SCV Startup meeting Monday night.

Founder and co-founder of two local companies and last year’s SCV Startup Weekend, Tippy recently spent six months in the Silicon Valley and observed three notable differences in the region, compared to other places.

One, there is a large international presence of highly skilled people traveling to the region in hopes of landing a job with a startup company.

They arrive from all over the world, with Silicon Valley serving not only as a magnet but the Mecca of the start-up world, he said.

Secondly, well-known companies in the area very smartly host events nearly every night — from seminars to lectures and more — which attract pools of talented people, and recruiters, Tippy said.

Thirdly, Tippy learned that the high level of talent that has migrated to the area only increases an individual’s anonymity ten-fold.

“You have to find a way to differentiate yourself or you’ll get lost among the masses of skilled, highly talented people,” Tippy said.

Likening it to an actor going to Hollywood to be discovered, one attendee asked what came first to the area — the big-name companies or the talent.

The region originally grew because of the success of start-ups like Google and Facebook. But, growth duplicated as employees of those companies began launching their own startups and products — which many of the Silicon Valley-based companies encourage their employees to do, Tippy said.

As for demographics, the area is not entirely unlike Santa Clarita.

The median family income in the Santa Clara Valley was $81,717 in 2011, according to U.S. Census data. By comparison, Santa Clarita’s median family income was $83,579.

Tippy described the area as a quiet suburb populated with many families — there are not a lot of young, single people. Many of the young live outside the area, in cities like San Francisco.

Likening the area somewhat to Santa Clarita, where the startup attendees said many, many talented engineers, programmers, web designers and entrepreneurial-types live — but commute outside the area for work — Tippy presented the “3-Cs” to replicate a startup community locally.

One, is building a region that has a common purpose; bringing like-minded people together who have a vision.
Two, is breeding a culture of engagement amongst people and employees.

While in Silicon Valley, Tippy said he found that most engineers didn’t value the money they earned nearly as much as the empowerment their companies granted them; the opportunity to create.

Lastly, is connection — money, talent and proximity to a college, he said.

SCV Startup is an avenue that has attracted local entrepreneurs and successfully launched the first-ever Startup Weekend in Santa Clarita in 2012.

But, as attendees of the group — some of whom traveled from outside Santa Clarita — commented, the group needs to find a way to move to the next level to continue building the momentum and gain community support for the growing local tech community.

Cultivating a startup environment helps to create companies and keep jobs in the region, Tippy said.




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