Much of today's Silicon Valley can trace its roots to companies like Intel, and Fairchild Semiconductor before it. Google and Facebook now play a similar role, as finishing schools where recent graduates are indoctrinated into the regional innovation system, but eventually leave to pursue their own innovation ideas in startups. Could the same thing happen in urban tech?
There's evidence it already is. Airbnb has been an inspiration to urban tech startups (and their investors) for over a decade. But the IPO that valued the company over $100 billion proved the business model. It reinvigorated optimism about urban tech as a worthwhile business endeavor and validated that regulatory obstacles don't stand in the way of profit. Airbnb's IPO has already inspired increases in the valuations of smaller, similar startups like glamping site Hipcamp, and will likely increase investment in and founding of new urban tech startups in the future in regions where they're based.