a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: How Innovation Ecosystems Grow Around the Globe

Brad Feld, AnnaLee Saxenian, and Christopher Schroeder

Posted August 4, 2015


Why do so many-government led efforts to build the next “Silicon Valley” in one geography or another fail? Is it misguided to even try? But then what does make such innovation clusters work?

In this segment of the pod a trio of expert guests — AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Information and a longtime researcher/observer of regional competitive advantage; VC Brad Feld and writer on startup communities; and entrepreneur and investor Christopher Schroeder, who covers startups rising in the Middle East and most recently wrote about the tech phenomenon in Iran — tackle the question of how innovation ecosystems grow. The discussion delves into how innovation is being spurred differently (or stifled) in places like China and Iran; whether there are cultural differences in attitudes for failure or about entrepreneurship; and if regulatory arbitrage is one way for regions to get ahead.

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The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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