Tokyo, Seattle, and Los Angeles as Tech Startup Hubs


I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my name, Yohei, means “Pacific” as in the Pacific Ocean, and that the three cities I’ve lived in are Tokyo, Seattle, and Los Angeles. I do think it’s a coincidence though, that in the last three days I’ve come across three separate articles that mention my three home cities as emerging tech hubs.

Japan’s large tech companies are too slow to innovate, which is most likely how they slipped to #25 in the UN ranking of global innovation this year. Upset with their current condition, the youth are starting to show their willingness to take risks (something much less common in Japan than in the US), resulting in a surge of entrepreneurial spirit in the form of Startup Dating Salons, Social Lunches, and Incubators/Accelerators like Open Network Lab. Read more on this awesome New York Times article from October 3rd: A New Tech Generation Defies the Odds in Japan.

A panel of VCs not from Seattle recently expressed some positive attitude toward Seattle as a tech startup hub. Seattle has the big tech firms to build a solid foundation for a community; Amazon and Microsoft to start with, and more recently Zynga and Facebook have opened offices in the area. For a cool infographic and more info on what VCs think about Seattle, check out this Oct 4 GeekWire article: Seattle vs. Silicon Valley: The debate continues (but this time with outsiders weighing in).

Today’s LA tech scene article comes from the Wall Street Journal and talks about how our tech scene is growing so fast, it’s affecting real estate prices. The article is titled Tech Titans Peter Thiel, Matt Jacobson, Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss, and Mich Matthews, Elon Musk Buy Homes in Los Angeles, and gives the pricing and location of Bugaluxes that these tech celebrities recently bought. But more importantly, it actually does seem like rent and real estate prices have been increasing in Venice and Santa Monica. Read the article.


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