Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Second Tier Regions
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Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Second Tier Regions

Heike Mayer

Second tier high-tech regions are taking a different path than their well-known counterparts such as Silicon Valley or Route 128 around Boston. They may lack many prerequisites of growth such as a world-class research university or high levels of venture capital funding. Often, however, they can successfully leverage anchor firms and entrepreneurial spinoffs. This book explores the evolution of these regions in the United States.
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Chapter 7: Conclusion

Heike Mayer


‘What “works” right now in this dynamic, regional, high-technology economy tells us little of how precisely Silicon Valley came to be just such a place, or how any such place comes into being. The potential disaster lies in the fact that these static, descriptive efforts culminate in policy recommendations and analytical tomes that resemble recipes or magic potions, such as: combine liberal amounts of technology entrepreneurs, capital, and sunshine. Add one (1) university. Stir vigorously.’ Moore and Davis (2004: 8) IMPORTANT FEATURES OF HIGH-TECH DEVELOPMENT Building a regional high-tech economy is nothing like mixing a magic potion or a tasty cocktail, and there is no simple recipe for how to create ‘the next Silicon Valley’. In fact, efforts to replicate Silicon Valley in different places have failed because identifying the critical ingredients for the region’s success is far easier than combining them into a working recipe for regional economic development (Leslie, 2001; Leslie and Kargon, 1996). As the case studies in this book show, the evolution of second tier hightech regions follows very different models of regional development than studies of Silicon Valley would suggest. Portland, Boise, and Kansas City took alternative development paths. Their stories highlight mechanisms and dynamics that might be more applicable to a broader range of places, and their cases may therefore represent more realistic models of high-tech regional development. The research presented in this book provides strong support for the idea that world-class research universities are not necessary for building a thriving high-tech industry cluster....

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