I've always wanted to start a company around Stanford, in the bay area. But through a course of highly exciting and interesting events, I've landed up in the pacific northwest. I believe firmly that geography does make a huge impact on the success of a startup. The proximity to potential customers, venture capitalists, and advisors does make a great difference. The most important ingredient of startups - people are also determined by the location of the startup. I've heard Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital once say that he won't invest in a company that he cannot drive up to on a regular basis (he has invested in companies that don't fit this description, but that's just an exception!) The quality of universities have a large impact on determining, the quality of students(potential hires) available and the depth of research/innovation conducted in the area.
After my recent trip to the bay area, a introspective thought struck me - am I missing out on something by not being in the silicon valley? The valley breathes entrepreneurship. But, is it true when it comes to Web 2.0? I've discussed it some entrepreneurial folks at Stanford, YouTube and Google. Ryan Williams has geocoded the Web 2.0 companies to create an "Innovation Map" - that shows the geographical distribution of leading Web 2.0 companies (No, they are not all located in the valley, but a majority of them are.)
Dwipal has a cool link to a poster with logos of leading Web 2.0 companies.
Kosmar has created a neat mindcloud to describe a variety of Web 2.0 companies.