The Rainforest Takes Root

Victor Hwang, one of T2 Venture Capital‘s Managing Directors, recently launched the new book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, at the University of Chicago. Victor also presented a white paper, “The Rainforest: How ‘Chicago Thinking’ Explains Silicon Valley,” that applies the groundbreaking principles developed in the book.

The excited crowd of 50 student and faculty attendees followed the presentation with a spirited and provocative discussion of how the Rules of the Rainforest address gaps in neoclassical economic models and how these new ideas are being translated into practice.

Victor then presented at a reception hosed by the Global Midwest Alliance at Brinks Hofer. There were approximately 100 enthusiastic attendees who are dedicated Rainforest practitioners that practice innovation everyday in Chicago. As a former resident of Chicago, Victor was thrilled to see the growing spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that is turning the city into a budding innovation ecosystem. This new Rainforest culture is fundamentally changing the way that people work with and interact with one another.

The only bad news was that Victor’s stash of books was exhausted long before line of buyers!

Victor Hwang, Managing Director of T2 Venture Capital, on Innovation Ecosystems | University of Chicago Law School.

The Rainforest review featured by the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI)

SSTI just featured their review of Greg and Victor’s new book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, on their weekly newsletter and the books section of their website. SSTI is the leading network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving society and the economy with science and technology. They have comprehensive resources on technology based economic development and we are thrilled to have their input on the book:

Many authors have explored the rise and dominance of Silicon Valley over the U.S. tech landscape. Silicon Valley’s mix of talented entrepreneurs and coders, abundant venture capital and critical mass of technology businesses have not only made the region into the world’s premier innovation center, but also have kept it at the top for decades. The explanations for its elite status are diverse: from roots as an early twentieth century center for radio research, its entrepreneurial culture, its ability to attract the most talented technology workers from around the globe and the tendency of venture capitalists to invest in businesses they can closely monitor. In The Rainforest: The Secret Recipe of Innovation Ecosystems, authors Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt explore the alchemy at work in Silicon Valley using the model of the rainforest, a biological system defined by the interactions between its component parts, not the components themselves.


The National Association of Seed & Venture Funds announces a Special Preview of The Rainforest

The National Association of Seed & Venture Funds (NASVF) just launched a Special Preview and white paper on Victor and Greg’s new book, The Rainforest. The white paper addresses many of the core themes that have emerged from T2 Venture Capital‘s work building breakthrough startup companies and new innovation ecosystems around the world.

This white paper and a related book propose a radical “their of everything” to explain the workings of innovation ecosystems. My colleagues and I call this model for such a system the Rainforest. By weaving together our personal observations with what we know about human nature, evolutionary biology, economic cooperation, physical systems, and social systems, we can offer a new and more productive way of thinking about innovation. We argue that neoclassical economics fails to explain the real-world workings of Rainforests. Instead, the innovation process is intimately bound with the dynamics of human nature, the invisible transaction costs caused by human nature, and the development of social norms that help people in Rainforests overcome those transaction costs.

via Special Preview for NASVF NetNews Readers – The Rainforest: How “Chicago Thinking” Explains Silicon Valley.

The Creation of Innovation Ecosystems: Germinating and Thriving in Today’s Economy

On February 29th, the Licensing Executives Society is hosting a panel in Silicon Valley on the Rainforest and innovation ecosystems. Victor will moderate and Greg will be one of panelists. The other two panelists are Eric Muller and Ade Mabogunje, both are experts in the cultivation of innovation ecosystems in their respective roles at the Center for Venture Education and the Stanford Center for Design Research. The conversation will focus around how intellectual property plays into the themes presented in Victor and Greg’s new book, The Rainforest:

Intellectual property is only unleashed when great ideas are surrounded by a nurturing ecosystem. What makes communities like Silicon Valley tick? Only a few places like the Valley have become enduring innovation ecosystems – human networks that generate extraordinary economic output. What is the nature of such ecosystems, and how can we deliberately build them? Authors Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt propose a radical new theory to explain such ecosystems. This panel involves leading practitioners who are shaping the growth of innovation ecosystems in places as far flung as Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, India, and the Palestinian Territories. They will share stories, insights, and new ways to understand how human networks can flourish.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
11:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Latham & Watkins
140 Scott Drive
Menlo Park, CA  94025

via February 29- 2012 Silicon Valley Chapter Meeting.

The discussion should be fantastic, make sure to check it out!

The Rainforest at the Harvard Club of Silicon Valley

The Harvard Club of Silicon Valley is hosting a reception, presentation and conversation to discuss the revelations of the about-to-be-released new book, The Rainforest. Come see Victor and check out the event if you are in the area:

What makes places like Silicon Valley tick? Can we replicate that magic in other places?

Explore the answer to this mystery at a special discussion with Victor W. Hwang (Harvard AB ‘93), one of the world’s leading experts at the intersection of venture capital and global development. Victor advises institutions like the World Bank, the State Department, the National Institutes of Health, and many others on how to develop innovation and entrepreneurship. His firm’s clients include dozens of governments and institutions around the world, including the Middle East, Latin America, Central Asia, East Asia, and Europe.

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Kauffman Fellows Program
Town & Country Village
855 El Camino Real, Suite 12
Palo Alto, CA 94301

6:00 to 8:30 pm
6:00 to 7:00 pm: Reception (food/drinks provided)
7:00 to 8:30 pm: Presentation, Discussion, and Conversation

via Harvard Club of Silicon Valley.

You can register for the event here and order the book here.

Global Midwest Alliance Kickoff Reception with Special Guest Victor Hwang

The Global Midwest Alliance has invited our Managing Director Victor Hwang to be the Special Guest Speaker at their 2012 Kickoff Reception in Chicago to help launch Victor and Greg‘s new book, The Rainforest:

Please join Global Midwest Alliance and its partners for a cocktail reception hosted by Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione to celebrate innovation and technology in the Midwest, where you will have an opportunity to preview the Alliance’s agenda, market-driven programs, new website and partnership opportunities for 2012.

Our special guest speaker is Victor W. Hwang, one of the world’s leading experts at the intersection of venture capital and global development, and co-author of The Rainforest: The Secret Recipe of Innovation Ecosystems. What makes places like Silicon Valley tick? Can we replicate that magic in the Midwest? Victor will explore the answer to this and other questions during a discussion of his new book.

Attend the reception and pick up an autographed copy of the book!

The Global Midwest Alliance is a business-led, region-wide organization dedicated to transforming the Midwest into an internationally recognized leader in innovation and business growth. The Alliance aligns and integrates resources throughout the Midwest helping businesses to grow by leveraging existing resources to develop new products and find customers throughout the world. The Alliance is the Private Sector Liaison Office for the World Bank and a member of Global CONNECT. Through these and other affiliations, the Alliance facilitates access to global business opportunities for Midwest business. The Alliance offers educational and networking opportunities through a variety of programs and resources designed to promote innovation, technology development and access to global opportunities in the clean technology, energy, food, logistics, manufacturing and water industries.

via Global Midwest Alliance Kickoff Reception with Special Guest Victor Hwang.

The Rainforest featured on innovation DAILY

We are thrilled to report that innovation thought-leader Rich Bendis has published an unprecedented special addition of innovation DAILY devoted to discussing our Managing Directors’ new book The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley and the development of innovation ecosystems.

Check out the introduction to the special edition here and the preview and excerpt of the book here. There are 23 additional articles in the special addition that provide an enormous amount of breadth and depth to answering the question: how can we stimulate innovation to drive economic growth?

We are extremely excited to hear your feedback and input on the ideas we present in the book. We hope to contribute to the global conversation about how best to foster entrepreneurship and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments in this blog (and all other venues!).

Finally, don’t forget to pre-order the The Rainforest here.