When I gave my Farewell, Hong Kong Startups talk last month I summed up the year running Startups Unplugged, AcceleratorHK, and We Are HK Tech, some things that didn’t work and some suggestions for Hong Kong’s future.
The last thing I did in the talk was to commit to a few future pieces of work, including writing up suggestions for startup communities off the beaten path. After a year in Hong Kong (not a tech hub yet) I became acutely aware to how one’s environment impacts the work that gets done, how people decide what work to do, if there’s talent to hire, investment to be had and a myriad of other issues. At the same time, when you’re outside a major tech hub, there is also lots of opportunity to build new infrastructure. The three programs above didn’t exist before last year but they made an impact.
Now that I’m back in the US, in the tech hub Los Angeles (Pasadena, actually) I’m taking it as a project to talk to startup people outside of tech hubs. So I’m interviewing people who are in such startup communities and will publish the findings. If you’re outside a tech hub and want to participate, here’s how to start.