Silicon 60: Aspirational California bounces back

October 10, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
California flag
This year saw the 17th major revision of the EE Times Silicon 60 listing of emerging startups. Peter Clarke picks out this year's trends in the long-running listing

And this time 25 companies have been brought on to the list (see EE Times Silicon 60: 2016's Emerging Companies to Watch ), slightly down on the 30 admitted in 2015. This brings the total number of emerging technology companies admitted to the list since v1.0 came out in April 2004 to 395.

Not all the startup companies EE Times has listed have been successful. If we were that good at tipping we would be considerably better than just about all venture capital companies. But we do not claim to be tipsters. What we do say is that we think these companies are worth looking at for a variety of reasons and that they may be interesting to watch because they are, in some way, bellwethers of a technology area or market application. They are interesting to watch without necessarily being companies guaranteed to find success.

While we described last year's Silicon 60 as a tale of two Cs – California and China – a discernible trend in this year's list is the resurgence of California – and to a lesser extent North America – as the spiritual home of the electronics and semiconductor startup. Whether this has something to do with being on the brink of another electronics revolution or series of killer applications to take over from the spent wave of the smartphone is hard to say. But as well as being a location that nurtures entrepreneurs in its universities, California is a destination many entrepreneurs aspire to relocate to, and that "gravitational" effect is in evidence in 2015 and 2016.

At the same time in this year's Silicon 60 China has fallen back to be on to a par with other countries, such as France and Israel, in its ability to generate notable startups.

In this year's list – v17.1 – North America provides 33 of the companies, an increase of two on the previous year. California