Global Innovation: U.S. Universities, Incubators Driving STEM Entrepreneurs Abroad

Silicon Valley is a destination for the young emerging tech talent of the world. This geographic hub has fostered the growth on hundreds of starts ups, some eventually gathering monumental valuations. It hosts Stanford University, renowned as Silicon Valley’s feeder school and the alma mater of tech billionaires, as well as accelerators like Y Combinator, the startup accelerator known for being the birthplace of Dropbox, Reddit, Airbnb and Stripe.

While the flocking talent, technology and funding has created this centralized hub for the world, one can only wonder if this is the only place that this type of environment can exist.

Well it turns out, Silicon Valley has already thought of that. Developing talented would-be entrepreneurs is growing internationally.

A recent article from The Times highlighted that Stanford University “is bringing its entrepreneurs’ school to London. Its ten-week Stanford Ignite program, which is being launched in September, is aimed at those planning to start a new venture, or a new division within a larger business, with an emphasis on people with a science, technology, engineering or math background. The course involves examining case studies of business success and failure, starting a real venture in a team and working with relevant industry experts to commercialize their ideas. There are modules in ecommerce, finance and strategy.”

Y Combinator is getting in the mix too. The incubator has already funded 842 companies to date, and those startups have raised upwards of $3 billion in investment and have a collective market cap of more than $30 billion. Y Combinator’s CEO Sam Altman told Tech Crunch, “If we only focus on the U.S. we miss maybe 95% of the best founders.”

“We really try to get out and about, and come to Europe because we believe not all the best companies are going to be started by people in the US,” according to Kirsty Nathoo, CFO of Y Combinator. “People in Europe, people in Asia, people from absolutely everywhere will be starting great companies, and we’d really like to be part of that and work with them.”

Ms. Nathoo recently discussed her interest in developing startups globally at the Webrazzi Summit in Istanbul. The video of the interview is worth watching.

Creating a Global Silicon Valley will be one of the topics of discussion at the upcoming event sponsored by the Brookings Institution and Private Capital Research Institute, a group dedicated to furthering the understanding of private capital and its global economic impact. The event, to be held in Redwood City at GSVlabs this April, is entitled, “Driving Growth with Big Ideas: Private Capital’s Role in Global Innovation.” To learn more about the PCRI, its mission and the event click here.