Thu, November 25, 2010
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Rating UK's Silicon Valley ambitions

2010-11-25 08:02:36 GMT2010-11-25 16:02:36 (Beijing Time)

Coming on the heels of an announcement by Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron that the UK is looking to build a tech hub in London's East End to rival Silicon Valley, this event called Silicon Valley comes to Oxford offered a good opportunity to ask an obvious question.

Can this ambition be taken seriously? Reid Hoffman is the founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, a networking site for professionals.

SOUNDBITE: Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and Executive Chairman saying (English)

"One of the interesting things I heard about Silicon Valley is that it's the only place in the world that isn't trying to build Silicon Valley. I think it's actually a very good thing to see the kind of tech entrepreneurship we're seeing here in Oxford where we're talking today, also in London. I think the key thing is how do you build something that's unique to you."

Saul Klein is a partner with Index Ventures and the founder of Seedcamp, a London-based tech incubator that's just announced a new round of funding.

SOUNDBITE: Saul Klein, founder, Seedcamp saying (English):

"I think something has been evolving in Europe for probably about 15 years now which is the emergence of a start up community. If you look at the Valley, the Valley is 50 - 60 years in to the evolution of an amazing start up eco-system and it takes a lot of time. So what we're starting to see in Europe now is a more widespread realization as technology touches more and more parts of our economy, as more and more people are using technology in their everyday lives - a recognition from policy makers and big companies that technology and the internet is here to stay, that innovation and entrepreneurship is essential to the sustainability of economies and they're trying to recognize and encourage that which is a great thing."

SOUNDBITE: Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and Executive Chairman saying (English)

"Well I think we have a great entreneurial eco-system in flight. Its maybe in early days, but a bunch of tech talent. The metaphor I use for entrepreneurship is to jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down. And I think you have a number of people who are gearing up, assembling their plane components and jumping."

And according to Silicon Valley logic, even if most of those new ideas fall flat, failures must be embraced as the foundation of future success.


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