Sergey Brin: Don't come to Silicon Valley to start a business

Sergey BrinScreenshot / Global Entrepreneurship SummitSergey Brin at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

If you’re itching to start a company out of a garage, then you shouldn’t pick up and move to Silicon Valley, according to Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

It’s easier to start a company outside the Valley than in it, he said onstage at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

“I know that sort of contradicts what everyone here has been saying,” he said with a laugh.

Google got started at Stanford University, where the conference is taking place. But he argues that the Valley can be very expensive.

“During the boom cycles, the expectations around the costs — real estate, salaries — the expectations people and employees have … it can be hard to make a scrappy initial business that’s self-sustaining,” he said. “Whereas in other parts of the world you might have an easier time for that.”

What Silicon Valley is better for, he says, is that second step, once you’ve already started to gain some traction.

Silicon Valley “is good for scaling that opportunity,” he said. “It’s good for providing more capital and allowing more risk.”

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