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Welcome back to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area


Welcome back to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area

LBC recently participated in an interesting event put together by the Bay Area Economic Institute and the German Center for Research and Innovation in San Francisco. The objective of the event, which was in person, was to present the findings of a report on “The Future of Global Technology and Innovation Collaboration in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area”.

Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute, author of the Innovation Platform Report: The Future of Global Technology and Innovation Collaboration in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area

The event included 3 panel roundtables with a variety of leaders from Consulates, incubators and accelerators as well as venture capital firms and research centers. The report researched whether the Covid pandemic had negatively impacted the presence of foreign representation in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

While the pandemic saw most countries and foreign entities temporarily closing down their physical offices in 2020 and into 2021, a lot of them adapted and went virtual, or ended up offering a hybrid model of operation.  The key takeaways of the presentation of the report for LBC were the following:

  • The majority of foreign centers have reopened in 2022 with a number increasing their activity in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The core mission of the foreign presence remains unchanged: even though other locations across the US and the world have grown in significance, they believe the San Francisco Bay Area will remain the premier global center for innovation and the place where the script for Digitalization is being written.
  • Many Consulates have now appointed “Tech Ambassadors” to their outposts in the San Francisco Bay Area. This move reflects the belief that digitalization and tech trends are still largely initiated here. Capturing these trends and momentum can help countries and start-ups form strategies and craft policies to help promote and better manage technology.
  • Until now the European Union has been represented on a rotating basis by the Consuls General of European nations already represented in the region. In the Fall of 2022, the European Union will open a full time, professionally-staffed office in San Francisco. It appears this will be the only global office for the European Union outside a Capital city.

The report found that while the pandemic certainly paused activity of globally headquartered operations in the San Francisco Bay Area there is a resurgence of activity in 2022. The world of venture capital and unicorns has become more evenly distributed which is a good thing for start-ups and local ecosystems. LBC has witnessed the growth of other ecosystems where we are present: namely in Portugal where there has been a healthy growth of start-ups, in 2015 there was just one Portuguese unicorn in Farfetch. There are now 7.

However, the status of the San Francisco Bay Area as a global hub for technology development and innovation process remains strong. The Bay Area continues to have a significant volume of founders, lawyers, investors that have successfully failed and succeeded in scaling companies. It still has a concentration of leading universities, fueling the talent pool, encouraging risk taking and entrepreneurship and the creation of new companies.

And this is still a place where you can meet a founder from Europe and in the same day, or at the same event, meet several others from far flung places like India or Japan. With their presence in the Bay Area and focus on Innovation, Tech scouting and near shore, LBC is witnessing and contributing to the re-opening of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, participating with the likes of Axis Innovation and MasterCard, EDP and the Pasha Group to connect to thought leaders in Silicon Valley.

About LBC:

LBC is a boutique management and innovation consulting and digital transformation firm focused on high quality engagements. LBC has an offering specific to Innovation which is captured under our Global Strategic Innovation Programs. We’ve produced 37 immersion programs in Silicon Valley, involving more than 500 executives from several countries. Our next Global Strategic Innovation program will run from the 10th to the 14th October.