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How did Silicon Valley venture capital come to be so successful? How has Silicon Valley VC been seen as a model for others to follow? Have East Asia's successful venture capital states followed the same policy path as the iconic VC cluster?

These questions are answered - and the contributions of the book, The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia by Dr. Robyn Klingler-Vidra, are debated in this book launch event. Dr. Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe, Assistant Professor in the Finance Department at the London School of Economics, will lead the discussion of the book and its impact on research on venture capital and public policy.


Silicon Valley has become shorthand for a globally acclaimed way to unleash the creative potential of venture capital, supporting innovation and creating jobs. In The Venture Capital State Robyn Klingler-Vidra traces how and why different states have adopted distinct versions of the Silicon Valley model.

Venture capital seeks high rewards but is enveloped in high risk. The author’s deep investigations of venture capital policymaking in East Asian states (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore) show that success does not reflect policymakers’ ability to replicate the Silicon Valley model. Instead, she argues, performance reflects their skill in adapting a highly lauded model to their local context. Policymakers are "contextually rational" in their learning; their context-rooted norms shape their preferences. The normative context for learning about policy—how elites see themselves and what they deem as locally appropriate—informs how they design their efforts.

The Venture Capital State offers a novel conceptualization of rationality, bridging diametrically opposed versions of bounded and conventional rationality. This new understanding of rationality is simultaneously fully informed and context based, and it provides a framework by which analysts can bring domestic factors to the very heart of international diffusion of policy. Klingler-Vidra concludes that states have a visible hand in constituting even quintessentially neoliberal markets.

Listen to interview with Dr. Klingler-Vidra on the Cornell University Press podcast, 1869, via Soundcloud.

Author Bio

Dr. Klingler Vidra is a Lecturer in Political Economy in the Department of International Development. Previously, she was Lecturer in International Political Economy in the Department of European & International Studies at King's College London and a Senior Research Fellow, in charge of venture policy, at the Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv University. Robyn’s research focuses on government efforts to build venture capital markets as a means to promote innovation, economic growth and entrepreneurial clusters. She leads the World Economic Forum’s UK Executive Opinion Survey on global competitiveness and is an instructor for LSE Enterprise executive education courses on capital markets, economic competitiveness and innovation. Her publications include peer reviewed journal articles on the development of venture capital markets in East Asia and how policy models transform as they diffuse.

She is the author of The Venture Capital State: The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia. Before returning to academia, Robyn spent eight years in the financial sector, working as a financial institutions' liability underwriter, a research manager at an expert network firm and an investor relations manager at a fund of hedge fund. Her public sector experience includes internships with the Economic Section of the US State Department Foreign Service and a UK Member of Parliament. She received her BA from the University of Michigan, was a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and MSc and PhD in International Political Economy at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Event details

The Economist Waterstones
Clare Market, Portugal Street, London WC2A 2AB