When I was in Silicon Valley recently, a good friend who works at Apple easily connected me with someone at Facebook, who was open to meeting and showing me around the campus. The next day, I was at Google talking about the future of video and audio technology. And on the final day, I was at Microsoft talking new technologies and San Diego’s place in the innovation economy.
The willingness of people in the Bay Area to connect tech entrepreneurs and startups to others is amazing, and it’s what has led to some of the most powerful business partnerships and success stories there.
With Sony, Jack in the Box, LG Electronics, Petco, Callaway Golf and ProFlowers all headquartered in San Diego, you would think the city would be considered a serious business community. Yet it still struggles to identify itself as more than a vacation destination. Some of the most well-known businesses don’t know how to work together. Many companies here use out-of-market technologies and don’t know that a similar product exists in San Diego – sometimes a better product.
But how would they know?
There are several key factors that help facilitate these partnerships. Let’s examine how these introductions happen.
Local Tech News Sources
In many markets, there are the multiple news sources covering new and existing companies. Online sources like Mashable , TechCrunch , PandoDaily  and GeekWire  chronicle tech companies’ struggles and successes, and highlight products before they’re released. This coverage encourages the use and sharing of new products in a way that gives them a competitive advantage.
Strong Local Tech Organizations
The Bay Area has some of the strongest organizations to promote and foster innovation and startups. Organizations such as 500 Startups, Plug and Play and Y-Combinator are huge resource centers for entrepreneurs and startups to build their business and form strong strategic partnerships.
Just a few events in a market can make a tremendous impact on the local economy. Events like the Upfront Summit  in L.A. or South by Southwest  in Austin – where startups and established companies (and even the music and arts communities) all work together in a coordinated effort to help promote local businesses.
Local Companies Working With Local Companies
This is one that is so prevalent in the Bay Area it’s basically unwritten law. These new companies seem to remember when they started (it was probably less than 10 years ago) and they make it very easy to integrate new technologies into their business.
I plan to examine why Silicon Valley and other markets are so good at fostering these opportunities and highlight how San Diego can get started bringing these valuable business ingredients to our market.
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