Triangles are the strongest polygons. Like all other polygons, all of a triangle’s sides are straight. But with the least number of sides of any polygon, triangles, by nature, have an underestimated strength.
So the growing line of thought around Chapel Hill and our greater entrepreneurial community that we should mold the Triangle into a Silicon Valley of the South is troubling because the Triangle is strong enough to stand on its own identity.
This region has emerged as one of the nation’s largest communities for startup companies, but that’s far from its only defining characteristic.
The Triangle has unique strengths that only our piece of the South can have, and they should be respected, nurtured and capitalized upon to grow the startup boom we have the privilege of witnessing firsthand.
Of course, the Triangle is no cornucopia for entrepreneurship. Silicon Valley is called so because of its genesis as a computer hardware powerhouse — possibly most notably, it’s where Intel was founded.
Since the 1970s, it has been home to Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and countless other internet and and electronic companies.
Because of Silicon Valley’s richness and that of other startup hubs across the country, including Boston and New York City, students at the Triangle’s universities want to venture out.
If you’re looking to get into the tech, retail or art startup scenes, then Silicon Valley, Boston and New York are great places to land. But those looking to build the Triangle’s impact on national innovation and entrepreneurship should be cognizant that it is not a Silicon Valley 2.0.
By virtue of our unique talents, we are a strong and sought-after entrepreneurship hub. We are the Triangle — nothing more, nothing less.