- Good colleges and universities, preferably with strong engineering programs, in order to provide an ongoing supply of qualified young talent
- A good quality of life that encourages graduates to stay in the area rather than relocate after graduation
- Availability of venture capital
It takes a big success to first recruit and then spin off the founders of future startups. In Chicago, where I'm located, Groupon looks like it has the potential to spin off more startups. It's too early to tell whether that will be the start of a sustainable startup culture in Chicago, but it's a big move in the right direction.