Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, June 30, 2021

The most recent PricewaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree report (1Q 2006) sports a familiar regional ranking: Silicon Valley, even years after the dot-com bust, remains a powerful magnet for venture capital dollars, accounting for 36.56 percent of all VC funding in the U.S. Just as predictably, the New England-Boston Route 128 Corridor, renowned as a software and biotech incubator, clocks in at second place once again.

After that one-two punch is a cluster of regions in an effective dead heat. But one area is poised to break out of that nondescript pack. Southern California is building more tech critical mass, which is consequently attracting more venture capital investment, and thus changing the financing landscape:

“There is a distinct possibility that Southern California will eclipse New England in the very near future,” said Mark G. Heesen, the president of the National Venture Capital Association. “It is a significant shift.”

The growth of high-risk, early-stage capital in the region does not appear to be attributable to any single reason, but to a handful of factors, including the proximity of Silicon Valley and the Pacific Rim, the strength of universities, a critical mass of companies in a handful of industries and, of course, lifestyle.

So, when hotshot techie talent is being lured by hotshot startup, which sounds more enticing: Living in bucolic suburban Massachussetts, or sunny beachfront in California? Granted, those workaholic codemonkies probably won’t ever emerge from their cubicles long enough to take note of the weather; but it’s nice to know it’s there.

The macro implications — that the venture capital game could evolve into an almost-exclusively Californian proprietary industry — give me a dark chuckle, as well. Maybe finance circles east of the Mississippi will come to dismiss VC as one of those West Coast things…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/30/2006 06:17:47 PM
Category: Business | Permalink | Feedback (1)

With both of their present situations looking grim, Chevrolet and Major League Baseball are turning to nostalgia for a current marketing partnership campaign. The “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” TV/Web spot is an update from a 1974-76 ad that linked the automaker and the sport, only now updated to reflect the evolution and changes in both entities.

Curious direction to take, as both brands are but glimmers of what they were 30 years ago. Chevy’s been reduced to also-ran in the U.S. market compared to Japanese cars, and the MLB long ago conceded its former top spot in the American sports pantheon to football and basketball. And both owe their continued viability to inertia more than proactivity: Just as loads of consumers will blindly buy an “American” car (nevermind that auto manufacturing is so globally diffused that such a thing doesn’t really exist) no matter what, the lack of competition from other, more compelling team sports during summertime gives baseball a cocoon-like operating environment.

To me, the connotation brought up with the new commercial is more of faded glory than of enduring tradition. Who even remembers that original spot? (I plead youthful memory gap, as I was only 5 when it went off the air.) The net gain is to reassure an older customer base that’s dying off anyway.

At best, it might serve as a necessary reminder, to a largely disinterested audience that “we’re still hanging around!”. As long as each partner is comfortable unintentionally positioning itself as a lower-tiered spectacle, I guess it works.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/30/2006 05:59:17 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Baseball | Permalink | Feedback (1)