This is the third instalment of our Global Tech Hub series. Each instalment looks at one of the world’s most vibrant tech eco-systems. This week we take a look at Silicon Valley - the world’s greatest tech hub.
Located close to San Francisco around Stanford University, Silicon Valley is synonymous with big tech, big money and innovation. The origins of the neighbourhood stretch back to the 1940s (when the transistor was invented) or arguably long before in terms tech research and development.
By the 1980s, the area was the globally recognised centre of the computer industry, and the now $2.8 trillion neighbourhood hosts some of the world’s biggest tech companies. Last year, the top fifteen tech companies alone made up 40% of Silicon Valley tech jobs and boasted sales of $1.35 trillion collectively (making them the 15th largest GDP in the world). Can you guess which companies made up the top 15?
- Apple inc. – the world’s largest tech company by revenue.
- Google – founded by Stanford students during their Ph.D. studies. The famous Googleplex headquarters is a key landmark in the area.
- Cisco Systems inc. – the giant conglomerate which manufactures and sells software and hardware.
- Tesla Inc. – at the forefront of the latest green tech, Elon Musk has served as CEO since 2008.
- Facebook Inc. – famously founded at Harvard, the move to Silicon Valley has been dramatically portrayed on the Silver Screen.
- Intel Corp. – ranked at #45 in the 2020 Fortune 500 list, Intel Corp developed the microprocessors used in most personal computers.
- Gilead Sciences Inc. – the only biotech on the list. In 2020, Bloomberg reported that AstraZeneca Plc had made a preliminary approach for a potential merger.
- Oracle Corp. – the enterprise software and IT company made a surprising breaking away in December 2020 and moved their headquarters to Texas.
- Lockheed Martin Corp. – a global leader in aerospace and defence technology, net profits from 2020 amounted to $6.9 billion.
- Nvidia Corp. – designer of graphics processing units for professionals and gamers. Nvidia are credited with driving the growth of PC gaming in 1999.
- LinkedIn – launched in 2003, the platform boasts over 750 million members. Its parent company is Microsoft Corp.
- Microsoft Corp. - Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus is undeniably impressive and five years in the making though the main HQ remains in Washington.
- Amazon – rounding off the big five, Amazon is also based in Washington but Amazon Web Services and Amazon Games Studio teams are based in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley.
- Salesforce.com Inc – now best known and arguably most successful from its investments in other tech companies.
- Uber – the youngest company on this list, Uber was founded in 2009 and now serves 69 countries.
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