PSA – Please Don't Call Us Chilicon Valley

Recently we’ve seen the phrase “Chilicon Valley” used to describe Greater Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem. We felt it necessary to release a polite public service announcement and ask that you please not refer to it that way.

We love Cincinnati style chili as much as the next guy, but before we start identifying as a chili-based startup ecosystem, please consider the following points.

We Already Have a Name

Chilicon Valley StartupCincy
The Country of Chile. Please note the distinct absence of both the State of Ohio and the City of Cincinnati

#StartupCincy. We’ve called ourselves that for some time now. We have a logo, a website, a Twitter hashtag and T-shirts. The entire thing has been branded out the wazoo.

Do a quick Google search for #StartupCincy. What are the top three hits? Our hashtag on Twitter, our Twitter page, and a Cintrifuse blog post talking about how to engage with our ecosystem.

Now do a Google search for Chilicon Valley. What do you see? An article in the Yale Globalist (the link to which is broken) about Chile’s (yes, the country of Chile) startup ecosystem, an article on The Foreign Policy blog about Chile’s startup ecosystem and a Columbia University article about – you guessed it – Chile’s startup ecosystem. We think we see a pattern.

Chilicon Valley is already taken by the country of Chile. And honestly, do you want people to search for Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem and think we’re located 5,000 miles from Cincinnati? Probably not.

Chile has Chilicon Valley, it makes sense for them and we should not try to usurp it.

Our Industry Vertical Isn’t Chili

It isn’t even close. Consumer Product Goods, Ad Tech, Healthcare – these are all spaces our startups play in. That’s not an exhaustive list but you know what you don’t see on the comprehensive list of #StartupCincy companies? Startups disrupting the chili industry.

So unless there’s some company revolutionizing ground beef, cheddar cheese or spaghetti technology, let’s refrain from making people think all we’re doing is trying to find a better way to make meat soup.

It Sounds Like a Chili Convention

Come one come all to Chilicon 2015! Joe Baker will revel the secret ingredient to his award winning 7 bean chili and you can try Aunt Mavis’s 5 Alarm Barn Burner!

We’re a tech and tech-enabled startup movement in an urban metropolis – not a chili competition in Wapakoneta.

We are #StartupCincy#StartupCincy Momentum Builders

We know everyone loves Skyline and tolerates Gold Star :). Our fanatic love for putting a style of chili that is, in all truthfulness, better described as a meat sauce over spaghetti and topping it off with 25 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese is one of the weird food things that makes being from Cincinnati great. That and goetta (please don’t refer to us Goettacon Valley either).

But chili is not how we should be referring to our startup ecosystem. So if you’re using “Chilicon Valley” (you know who you are) to describe #StartupCincy, please consider the alternative.

This has been a public service announcement from your friends at Cintrifuse. We thank you for your time.


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