It's often said that Silicon Valley is more than just a place -- it's a state of mind.
As such, the entrepreneurial mecca, defined as the southern half of the San Francisco Bay Area, is now inspiring startup hubs across the United States. There's "Silicorn Valley" in Des Moines, Iowa, "Silicon Prairie" in Omaha, Neb., and "Silicon Strip" in Las Vegas, where Zappos, the online shopping juggernaut, bases its headquarters.
In fact, nearly 80 percent of all U.S. startup investments in 2011 made by individuals, also known angel investors, occurred outside of California, according to a recent study. The Great Lakes region, including Ohio and Wisconsin, among other states, accounted for 15.9 percent of all angel investing in 2011. New England, led mainly by Boston, nabbed 14.6 percent of all investments. Southeastern regions of the U.S. accounted for 12 percent. And New York offered up roughly 7 percent of all the angel investment dollars last year.
The mixture of hungry entrepreneurs, giddy investors and, most often, a local research university, has produced more than a few pockets of innovation that have adopted the "Silicon" moniker.
Is there a startup scene in your hometown? If so, add it to our list: