In This Review

The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia
The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia
By Robyn Klinger-Vidra
Cornell University Press, 2018, 210 pp

Silicon Valley has become a model for a cluster of successful business start-ups that later mature into firms and turn huge profits for their original venture capital investors. No surprise, then, that many governments—45 so far—have attempted to replicate it. This informative book examines in detail three such attempts—in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan—and draws on the experiences of related ventures in several other places, including Israel and Japan. Unsurprisingly, Silicon Valley and its host governments, the California state government and the U.S. federal government, have legal, institutional, and cultural characteristics that other places find hard to replicate. Klingler-Vidra shows how Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan have financed new ventures by giving funds and tax breaks to venture capital firms and start-ups. She says little about the ultimate outcomes, such as the number of successful firms per public dollar spent, but she does show that the venture capitalists supported by governments tend to invest in older, already profitable firms rather than true start-ups.