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Silicon What? Three Innovation Hubs Outside The Valley

Here's how badly everyone wants to emulate the Valley: They keep slapping Valley-derivative names on their tech sectors. (And, yes, we get a lot of "We're the next Silicon Valley!" press releases.) A survey of contenders:

Silicon Alley (New York)

Big Names, Big Startups
David Karp of Tumblr, Alexis Maybank of Gilt Groupe, Perry Chen of Kickstarter

Startup Support
General Assembly, WeWork Labs

Room To Grow
"The biggies here are really e-commerce, ad tech, and media," says Alyson Shontell, editor atSilicon Alley Insider. "It's a motivated community—just like a startup."

Silicon Bayou (Louisiana)

Big Names, Big Startups
Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios, Jennifer Medbery of Kickboard, K. Taylor Beery of VoteIt

Startup Support
Cajun Code Fest, Idea Village, Launch Pad

Room To Grow
"It's a work-hard, play-hard atmosphere, but what's missing is the big exit—something that hits it big on a national scale," says Zach Kupperman, publisher of Silicon Bayou News.

Silicon Hills (Austin & San Antonio)

Big Names, Big Startups
Kevin Callahan of MapMyFitness, Steve Felter of Game Salad

Startup Support
Capital Factory, Austin TechLive

Room To Grow
"It's really picking up steam," says Laura Lorek, editor of Silicon Hills News. "There are a lot of innovative people, but you've got to know about them. They don't look for publicity."

illustration by james hood

A version of this article appeared in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.