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Silicon Valley: The Tech Startup Origin

Updated on July 30, 2014

Tech Startups In The Silicon Valley

The name Silicon Valley is derived from the number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers located in this area. Since the dot-com bubble in the late 90s, this valley has become synonymous with high tech startups. Thousands of technology companies are headquartered in the Silicon Valley and continues to grow every year as more tech entrepreneurs are coming here. Google, Facebook, eBay, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Intel (all based in the Silicon Valley) are some of the most successful and largest tech companies in the U.S., many of whom are on the Fortune 1000 list. Silicon Valley continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development, accounting for 1/3 of all of the venture capital investment in the United States. With a reputation as ostentatious as this and many eager investors, Silicon Valley is the perfect environment for enthusiastic, ambitious, innovative entrepreneurs to build their own tech startup.

Top 5 Hottest Startups

Here are some of the hottest tech startups who have made it in the Silicon Valley:

Startup: Kiip

Date Founded: 2010

Founder: Brian Wong, Courtney Guertin, & Amadeus Demarzi

Concept: When playing game apps on your smartphones, instead of winning digital rewards, Kiip integrate real-world rewards to mobile game users by providing them with tangible products from companies that are advertising on the game or who hosted the game app.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: Received over $15 million of Series A & B funding as well as from investors such as the Relay Ventures, Hummer Winblad, True Ventures, Verizon Ventures, and CrossLink Capital.

Why You Should Care: Kiip is revolutionizing the way mobile advertisement works by incorporating game apps with consumers' rewards from advertisers. They receiving high praise from Forbes, Dow Jones, and Mashable.

Startup: Aryaka

Date Founded: 2011

Founder: Ajit Gupta & Ashwath Nagaraj

Concept: No network as a service company exist until Aryaka came into business. They discovered a way to use simple and affordable cloud-based WAN optimization, MPLS VPN, and application acceleration to enhance enterprise collaboration.

Location: Milpitas, CA

Funding: Secured a $25 million Series C funding from a number of investors including InterWest Partners, Presidio Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation Company, Nexus Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.

Why You Should Care: They are the first cloud-based WAN optimization company solving application and network performance that are a current issues within the distributed enterprise. Aryaka, according to GigaOm, have the greatest potential to shape the future of cloud computing.

Startup: Gumroad

Date Founded: 2011

Founder: Sahil Lavingia

Concept: Gumroad lets people, who create their own product such as music, craft, and writings, to sell their stuff online without having to set up an online store or sell it through a 3rd party such as eBay. By hosting a link of their product on their social networks, the link will take them directly to Gumroad site where they can make the purchase instantly.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: Raised over $8 million from seed money and Series A funding from many investors including Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Michael Abbott, Crunchfund, and SV Angel.

Why You Should Care: Gumroad is making selling online through very simple and accessible to independent producers. This technology has the potential to change the way we buy and sell online.

Startup: Udemy

Date Founded: 2010

Founder: Eren Bali, Oktay Caglar, & Gagan Biyani

Concept: Udemy offer a way for professors from top Universities to teach online college courses while getting paid.

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Funding: Obtained over $4 million from seed money and Series A funding from investors such as 500 Startups, Lightbank, MHS Capital, Ben Ling, and Jeremy Stoppelman.

Why You Should Care: Bali conceptualized Udemy in Turkey (where he is from) but moved to the Silicon Valley to make it a reality. Now Udemy is changing the way online college courses in taking place with Mashable suggesting that "Udemy offers an experience that rivals the real classroom, and should prove to be a useful utility for teachers and students of all subject".

Startup: Lyft

Date Founded: 2012

Founder: Logan Green & John Zimmer

Concept: Lyft has combine traditional taxi rides and mobile apps to form ridesharing in a socially engaging, eco-friendly and affordable experience. Passengers can request rides from drivers who have cars via using the Lyft app and pay a small donations to the drivers, which is generally 30% less than the prices for a cab ride of the same length.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: Lyft has garnered over $83 million from top venture capitalists such as Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund, K9 Ventures, and Floodgate.

Why You Should Care: Lyft has created a community that makes transportation a more uplifting and fun experience as well as gives users the opportunity to make friends, save money and reduce carbon footprint.

Silicon Valley Startup Map

TED TALK - Silicon Valley Startup Culture

20 Best Startup Hubs In The U.S.

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  2. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
  3. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA
  4. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
  5. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
  6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C/VA
  7. Salt Lake City, UT
  8. Raleigh-Cary, NC
  9. Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, MD
  10. Austin-Round Roc-San Marcos, TX
  11. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR
  12. Wilmington, DE
  13. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AR
  14. Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
  15. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
  16. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL
  17. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
  18. Kansas City, MO/KS
  19. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
  20. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA

Notable Startup Entrepreneurs

Larry Page & Sergey Brin founded Google Inc., corporate headquarters in Mountain View.
Larry Page & Sergey Brin founded Google Inc., corporate headquarters in Mountain View.
Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak founded Apple Inc., corporate headquarters in Cupertino.
Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak founded Apple Inc., corporate headquarters in Cupertino.
Jerry Yang & David Filo founded Yahoo, corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale.
Jerry Yang & David Filo founded Yahoo, corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale.
Charles Geschke & John Warnock founded Abode Systems, corporate headquarters in San Jose.
Charles Geschke & John Warnock founded Abode Systems, corporate headquarters in San Jose.
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, corporate headquarters in Palo Alto.
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook, corporate headquarters in Palo Alto.

Top 5 Industry Growth Sectors For Startups

Entrepreneurs looking to tap into a profitable market should consider some of the findings conducted by by IBISWorld, a global business intelligence leader specializing in industry market research. IBIS identified five sectors with the highest growth rates and greatest potential for profit after analyzing over 700 industries in the nation.

  • Educational & Employment Services - With the current sluggish U.S. economy, unemployment rate has risen considerably affecting many Americans, especially the youth. Due to this circumstances, many unemployed resort to either two options: further their education or seek help from employment services. Graduate schools, online courses, trades & technical training, etc. are all educational industries in high demands. According to IBIS, the educational sectors grew at an annual rate of 6.2% over the last five years and is expected to continue to grow 5% more per year for the next five years. Employment recruitment agencies are growing as well. Many unemployed prospects find these services useful for finding temporary to full-time jobs. There are also niche recruitment agencies that caters to specific markets such as IT employment agencies and healthcare employment agencies.
  • Internet & Technology - Internet and technology are the only industries that continues to grow year after year. Consumers and business are becoming more dependent on the internet and any technologies that improves their way of life. The rise of online businesses can attest to the growth of the internet sector. There are an unlimited array of products and services that can come out of these two industries such as software, apps, dating services, mobile devices, new inventions, etc.
  • Green Business - As more and more Americans are becoming environmentally-conscious, the green industries (still relatively new) are seeing a huge spike in growth. There is a whole market for eco-friendly services and products such as LED light bulbs, solar panels, energy consulting, electric cars, etc. New alternative solutions that doesn't compromise our way of life while also protects the environment are always encouraged.
  • Residential & Commercial Construction - According to IBIS, the housing recession is no longer an endemic to our society. They predict construction projects will increase 12.5% in the next five years. Due to the growth of new residential and commercial constructions, the demand for specialty contractors are expected to grow as well.
  • Heath & Medical - As many Americans are living longer, the demand for health and medical treatments and services are increasing as well. Alternative healthcare providers and improvement in medical diagnosis continues to see a rise year after year as health and medical discoveries never ends. Wellness programs, physical therapist, acupuncturist, etc. are some of the leading services that caters to the huge elderly or baby boomer market.

Startups' Headquarters

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A markerAdobe Systems Headquarter -
345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110, USA
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B markerAMD Headquarter -
1 AMD Place, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA
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C markerApple Inc. Headquarter -
Apple Campus, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA
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D markerCisco Systems Headquarter -
170 West Tasman Drive, San Jose, CA 95134, USA
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E markereBay Headquarter -
2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125, USA
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F markerOracle Headquarter -
500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065, USA
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G markerYahoo Inc. Headquarter -
701 1st Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, USA
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H markerFacebook Headquarter -
1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
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I markerYelp Headquarter -
140 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
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J markerTwitter Headquarter -
1355 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
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Guide to Building a Startup

Launching a startup is no easy task and we created a handy checklist to help guide you threw the process.

Here's what you'll need to do now:

  1. Determine practicality: It's important to note that your startup needs to be something you can make a profit doing or delivering to consumers or businesses.
  2. Create a plan: Create a detailed business plan with financial projections so you're able to revisit and adapt to regularly. To learn more about creating a business plan check out this guide.
  3. Get your finances in order: Most startups take time to get off the ground so make sure your finances are in order. Whether it's from your savings account, job, etc... and if you need even more money for your startup start here's a great guide to help you.
  4. Choose a name: Register a domain name for your business and set up an email account. Bonus Tip: It helps when the name is easy to remember and catchy.
  5. Incorporate your startup and choose a legal entity: It's important to protect personal assets so let your attorney and accountant know about your plans. Here's a guide with more information about this.
  6. Register for an EIN: Head over to the IRS website and sign up for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to help separate yourself from your business. This will help you open a business bank account and avoid giving out your social security number.
  7. Set up a website: This will be the doorway to your company for Internet users. Make sure that you have a clean and easy to navigate website. For those that need assistance building a website, I would recommend hiring a professional web developer.
  8. Get social: Get your social profiles set up and reserve your brand name. KnowEm makes this task easy by checking for your brand on over 500 social media websites. Another great social media management tool is HootSuite, which I personally use. It saves you time by posting to all your social accounts with the click of a button.
  9. Time to make money: Start generating revenue as soon as possible by selling your products or services to customers. Remember to get your lawyer to create contract forms just in case.
  10. Order business cards: These are inexpensive and are a great way to get the word out about your company.


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