A glance at the online sector of our brand perception monitor BrandIndex quickly reveals the truth behind the belief that tech start-up success is dominated by the West Coast of the United States, and offers insights into our ability to create a similar 'Silicon' valley in the UK with the help of our new StartUp campaign in association with StartUp Britain and Imperial College London.
On BrandIndex, the top seven brands contain the Mountain View based Google and Firefox (Mozilla), San Bruno’s Youtube, San Jose’s Ebay, and Facebook, all of which share YouGov’s US HQ’s home town of Palo Alto. Only Amazon (Seattle) breaks Silicon Valley’s dominance, and the one British player in the top seven is BBC.co.uk.
The impact that 'online' now has on our life can be seen when we realise that Google (+61), Amazon (+58) and BBC.co.uk (+54) are the three highest index scorers across all the 850 brands measured (as shown in the graph below), meaning that they are perceived best by the British public.
BBC.co.uk is a shining example of how we can make it work here, and the BBC has done it by successfully adapting an established brand to a new era rather than creating a revolutionary new idea.
With the right investment in entrepreneurs, we should be aiming to get Silicon roundabout (namely, Old Street in London) and its equivalents around the country to rival Silicon Valley.
With this in mind, YouGov and UCL, working with new government initiative StartUp Britain and in collaboration with Imperial College London, will lead the development of a pilot, StartUp Summer, to stimulate, encourage and support student entrepreneurs.
StartUp Summer is an entrepreneurs’ development programme that will offer students the opportunity to develop their own innovative, business ideas into actionable, start-up business plans.
During an eight week period, five project teams of five students each will have ongoing access to a range of resources, a project budget of £2,000 and regular contact with entrepreneur mentors such as Martha Lane Fox and Luke Johnson.
It will give participants the opportunity to develop their skills and networks within business in a stimulating and supportive environment and contribute to the development of Britain's very own Silicon Valley.
A version of this article appears here in CityAM