Category: North America

Silicon Valley (California) – Information Technology Cluster
The Silicon Valley is seen worldwide as a prime example of a modern economic cluster. It is characterized by a unique location concentration of information technology (development of hardware, software, internet services). There are also companies in biotechnology and environmental technology, the armaments, aerospace industries and vehicle construction (electromobility). Global players in information technology such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Intel, AMD, Google, Facebook, Ebay and Yahoo, around which several thousand other companies of various sizes are grouped, are influential. Cluster structures similar to Silicon Valley, for example, are found in the greater Boston area or the “Research Triangle” in North Carolina, but in some cases with different industry focuses.

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND POPULATION
Silicon Valley, whose name goes back to the silicon required for semiconductor production, is located southeast of San Francisco in continuation of San Francisco Bay through the wide Santa Clara Valley between two mountain ranges of the California coastline. The San Andreas Fault, which runs directly to the west, indicates the high earthquake hazard.

The center of Silicon Valley, which is largely identical to Santa Clara County, but also includes parts of the neighboring Alameda and San Mateo Counties, is San Jose, the third largest city in California, which had around 950,000 residents in 2010. Under the influence of the economic boom of the past few decades, the population of Santa Clara County rose from 290,000 to 1.78 million between 1950 and 2010. In terms of average annual income, Santa Clara County occupies a top position in California and the USA.

TO THE FINANCIAL ENVIRONMENT
A crucial factor is the availability of venture capital. The generous granting of capital to young companies with a promising “business plan” by special financial service providers – even without the usual securities – favored the rapid upswing of information technology companies. The close interweaving of large corporations, medium-sized companies and a large number of highly specialized small companies with often only a short lifespan has remained a characteristic feature of this cluster to this day. In addition to partners from industry and research, this also includes service providers, for example in the areas of design, market research, marketing, financing, insurance or patent law. Within the company networks, both formal and informal contacts lead to a constant transfer of personnel and an exchange of knowledge. The downside of these partnerships and alliances is fierce competition for capital, new product development, customer acquisition and market development. For more information about the continent of North America, please check franciscogardening.com.

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