While some outsiders see a decline of Silicon Valley, a major announcement by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon suggests the news of its death may be greatly exaggerated. Bay Area Council member JP Morgan Chase is planning to open a new “fintech campus” in Palo Alto in 2020 that will house more than 1,000 employees, including staff from payments start-up WePay, which the bank acquired last year. The announcement comes in the wake of a recent article (forgive us for not linking to it) in The Economist that argued Silicon Valley has peaked. Dimon doesn’t share that view and has talked about the critical role of Silicon Valley in helping advance JP Morgan’s push into technology as it works to make banking more convenient for business and new consumers and address issues related to online fraud and cybersecurity.
Dimon’s enthusiasm for Silicon Valley is echoed in an opinion article by Bay Area Council Economic Institute Senior Director Sean Randolph that is scheduled to run in the coming days. In it, Randolph writes “that region’s economy is growing at a rate that rivals the fastest growing economies in the world. The region’s universities are among the world’s best, and are continuing to draw top talent. Patent generation, as it has for decades, far exceeds that of peer cities across the country (17.3% of all U.S. patents originate here; the next closest place in New York with 5.5%). Four of the most highly capitalized companies in the world are located here, with lines of unicorns and mega-unicorns waiting to go public. More importantly as a barometer, the region’s share of national venture investment is holding steady at a remarkable 45%, the number of incubators and accelerators is growing, and entrepreneurs are continuing to pour into the region.”