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Where, Oh Where?

The next entrepreneurial hot spot may be coming soon to a city near you.

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At the apex of Silicon Valley's fame, you'd think itsrealtors were engaged in some sort of subliminal campaign to lurein tech start-ups. What really made Silicon Valley the granddaddyof hot spots? Why did Boeing leave Seattle for Chicago? Why isDenver getting so much press? It's a fusion of many differentelements.

Silicon Valley had been primed for its status starting in the'30s, when Stanford University began a campaign to become aradio and communications research center. It worked. Companies likeFairchild Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard set up shop nearby.Since then, generations of entrepreneurs have crawled out of thewoodwork. "There's an acceptability of risk-takinghere," says Shanda Bahles, general partner at El DoradoVentures, a Menlo Park, California, venture capital firm. "Thepeople who took risks failed, and then did it again and weresuccessful-those are the stories that make the rounds ofentrepreneurs."

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