Silicon Valley is the heart of technological innovation both globally and within the United States. According to Salim Teja ,president of Venture Services at MaRS, it faces a challenge to its primacy. East coast cities such as Toronto, New York City, Boston, and other business centers are looking for opportunities to develop their startup sectors.
They hope that together they can build a startup ecosystem that can compete with Silicon Valley’s renowned technological district.
A fledgling alliance between East Coast cities such as New York City and Toronto is forming to create sustainable and scalable solutions to the world’s most complex problems. Their global infrastructure gives them an advantage due to the resources they have access to. At the heart of this alliance are public and private sector partnerships designed solve city level problems and narrow socioeconomic gaps.
City governments are stepping up to the plate by dedicating personnel and assets to work with local tech communities on projects that seek to improve education, infrastructure, healthcare, and other government services that touch people’s lives every day.
Each of these cities has nurtured their own startup community that has lead to successful public-private partnerships. For example, Toronto’s 50 million dollar Sidewalk Labs Toronto waterfront-redevelopment partnership which benefited from a partnership between the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
Beyond public and private sector team-ups academic institutions are working together on research and development projects. For example, Ryerson University’s business program has teamed up with NYC to provide coworking spaces for startups. Not to be outdone the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab is working with NYU’s Stern school of business to create startup launching and scaling programs for NYU’s students.
Multi-city pipelines are already beginning to stimulate investment and innovation with East Coast cities reaping the benefits. By combining their resources, these cities have the potential to compete with Silicon Valley and benefit from new technologies, innovative technological applications, and new scientific discoveries.
Alliances between cities like New York City, Toronto, and Boston will usher in a new era of global innovation. However, for that future to be realized they will need to continue to work together to expand their networks, attract talent to their cities, and strengthen their alliance.