The Best Startup Community in the World is…

The Best Startup Community in the World is…

Chicago is the best startup community in the world. Screw San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Austin, Boulder, Madison, Seattle, Singapore, Austria, Israel, Ramallah, ALL OF ASIA, Antartica, Greenland, and even Tibet.

Right?

Ten months ago, Pando Daily featured an article about the Chicago startup scene aptly titled The Midwest Mentality. The Chicago startup community was mad about the contents of the article. Really mad. Matt Moog came back with a great rebuttal. Jeff Carter also wrote a spot on article. I mean, we just got served by a 19-year-old writer who spent 14 of his 6,935 days of existence on planet earth here in Chicago (give or take 365 days depending on his birthday).

What was the result of all of this besides drama? Nothing, Nada, Zilch. Did Chicago become a better community because of it? I’m fairly sure nothing changed. Did Silicon Valley again prove their dominance as the best in the world? Nah, not really. They have already proven that.

The only thing that Trevor Gilbert at Pando Daily did was generate drama. And then the drama passed. He told us what we already knew. Or maybe he told us what we already didn’t know. Maybe he was right. But maybe it doesn’t matter who is right.

This post is a plea to the worldwide startup community and all the bloggers, journalists, editors, and publishers out there. Let’s separate fact from opinion when writing about startup communities.

Example:

1) Fact: New York is bigger than Topeka, Kansas

2) Opinion: New York is better than Topeka, Kansas

Another example:

1) Fact: Silicon Valley is the biggest startup community in the entire world that has produced more billion dollar companies than any other community has.

2) Opinion: Silicon Valley is the best startup community in the world.

There is no such thing as “my startup community is better than your startup community.” Is Topeka, Kansas a better place to live than New York City? It depends on who you ask, really. It seems that there is always this need to say, “Look at the companies were founded in this city!,” when in reality it doesn’t matter what city a startup was born out of.

We are all special in our way. Didn’t our parent’s teach us that already?

This plea is a little bit bigger than asking, “Why can’t we all just get along?” It’s meant for us to look past which community is better and instead focus on how we can work together as one big startup community. A community that creates products that consumers and enterprises need. A community that recognizes each city’s community is different, and each community serves a purpose in the entire ecosystem.

TechCrunch has done a great job of travelling to cities in North America and throwing pop up events. Dave McClure seems to be a travelling machine for 500 startups with GeeksOnAPlane, which is an amazing endeavor. They may know that Silicon Valley is the biggest community, but do they think it’s the best? And if so, could that subjectivity be getting in their way?

So, does Chicago really have the best startup community? How about San Francisco? Or New York? Or Boulder? Or anywhere else? The answer is: It doesn’t matter. And if that answer doesn’t suit you, go ask your mom. Moms always know best.

More Guides You Will Love

The 5 Factors that Led Us to Victory at LAUNCH Techweek Chicago A few weeks ago, over 70 pre-qualified startups demoed their products and services for a chance to compete on Techweek’s main stage, for $100,000 is cash and prizes. Our startup, WeDeliver, won! Here are the five factors w...
Startup Institute: We’re Coming to Chicago! I'm really happy to share that we're building Startup Institute Chicago this Fall. Here's why. It's clear that Chicago is a special place for startups, and we want to make it the place for people to join them. When yo...
Six Months Later: Impact Engine and Social Enterprise are Killing It Less than a year ago, I asked a prominent figure in Chicago’s startup community about local investors’ interest in the social enterprise model. She told me flatly, “No one cares.” Well, they care now. Since Impact Engin...
5 Critical Startup Lessons from DoNotRent.com CEO, Mike Cerny Mike Cerny, CEO and founder of the startup DoNotRent.com, a national apartment review and ratings website based in Chicago, knows the challenges of building a company from the ground up. He has faced the typical trials startu...
Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss: Always Keep a Pulse on Your Customer & Company Culture Jenny Fleiss is an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with. She started her career as a strategic planner at Morgan Stanley, and then Lehman Brothers. After a few years of strategy work, she went off to Harvard Business...
Lightbank & Chicago Tech Academy: Innovation Comes From The Most Unlikely Places Chicago Tech Academy is not your average high school. Tucked away in Pilsen, it might look like a typical Chicago Public School–fluorescent lighting, teachers busy moving students from one class to another, students in “Chi T...
The Challenges and Rewards of Growing a Company in Omaha Real-time online auction marketplace Proxibid is not a new company, but it has certainly stayed fresh since being founded in 2001 by four Omaha-based entrepreneurs. That’s because technological innovation has remained a key p...
Why You Lost Your Startup Passion—and How to Get it Back Again It happens to everyone. You’re plugging away on a project and it hits you: What am I doing? Why am I here? Should I be doing something else with my life? It’s a fact: a lot of people lose passion for their work. As a start...
If You Want to Start Something You’re Passionate About, You Just Need 10 Minutes “Got ten minutes? Go.” This was the subject line of an email that Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia sent Jamie Wong several years ago. At the time, Wong hadn’t yet founded Vayable—she already had the idea for the online travel ...
Every (Successful) Strategic Startup Vision Begins with Some Serious Introspection There’s something oddly remarkable about entrepreneurs these days. So many of them are prepared to suffer for their business strategies, yet so few actually take the time to learn how to strategize. Part of the problem,...