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The top tech leaders and regions in the world: Shanghai on the rise

The top tech regions in addition to Silicon Valley.

Of the global hubs for innovation, Shanghai is viewed as the leading technology innovation hub over the next four years, according to a survey of executives by KPMG.

New York ranked as No. 2, followed by Tokyo, Beijing, London, Washington D.C., Berlin, Chicago, Tel Aviv, and Boston. The survey didn’t focus on Silicon Valley, which likely would have been a clear No. 1. But the conclusion of the survey is that Silicon Valley is going global.

Of the industry’s tech leaders, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, came out as No. 1 as a global innovation visionary. He was followed by Tim Cook of Apple, and a three-way tie among Jack Ma, Larry Page, and Sundar Pichai.

Elon Musk is the most visionary tech leader.

Above: Elon Musk is the most visionary tech leader.

Image Credit: KPMG


And the survey ranked the top companies driving innovation. The results of that question are below, with Google leading the pack.

The top innovative tech companies in KPMG's survey.

Above: The top innovative tech companies in KPMG’s survey.

Image Credit: KPMG

KPMG surveyed more than 800 global tech leaders, from startup entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives.

The factors that matter in innovation by region include the availability of talent, access to tech infrastructure, ability to drive customer adoption, access to alliances and partnerships, access to capital, and training an educational programs.

Important factors in enabling tech innovation by region.

Above: Important factors in enabling tech innovation by region.

Image Credit: KPMG

The report focused on the rise of 15 innovation hubs with ecosystems of incubators, accelerators, and venture capital alongside government incentives across the world.

“The spread of tech innovation development is being fueled by growing ecosystems as technology innovation has permeated all industries,” the report said. “Technology continues to enable an unprecedented rise in creativity, across the world, to solve business problems and develop new markets in ways never thought possible.”

The U.S. remains strong. Five of the top six world’s largest companies are U.S. tech companies with over $2.5 trillion in market cap. The U.S. platform companies are leading the tech evolution with big investments in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and other technologies which will have great influence on the way business and consumers engage with the world.

“The U.S. tech landscape is morphing into a fourth transformation, as revolutionary new innovation surfaces. Face and voice recognition are going to become part of consumers’ lives in the United States and help to provide stronger privacy protection,” the report said. “Mobile communications, banking, and commerce are all adopting biometrics to make online transactions more secure.”

The start-up boom in the United States continues to thrive. U.S. fundraising increased from $35.2 billion in 2015 to $41.6 billion in 2016.

“While actual investment in start-ups has decreased slightly in recent quarters, the continued rise in fundraising activity and optimism from tech and investment leaders signal confidence in the United States as a commanding tower to generate ideas, create job opportunities, and advance the economy,” the report said. “Despite a thawing IPO market in the United States, venture-backed tech companies are
finding exits through a surge in acquisitions and mergers.”

But China is on the rise. Shanghai got 26 percent of the vote, compared to 21 percent for Beijing, as a future tech leader. A year ago, Shanghai was ranked at 17 percent. New York got 23 percent of the vote, up from 19 percent a year ago. Tokyo got 21 percent.

“As tech innovations unfold, China is stacking up to the United States as a leading force. Global
tech industry leaders indicated, in KPMG’s tech innovation survey, the United States and China are
the world’s dominant tech epicenters—with the greatest potential to develop disruptive technology
breakthroughs that will have a global impact,” the report said. “The strong showing for these two mega-powers is relatively consistent with earlier KPMG surveys, although this year’s poll reflects a slight uptick for China—25 percent compared with 23 percent the prior year.”

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