You may have seen the graphic below on Techcrunch a week or so back. It is a little clunky to use, but I put it up here anyway because it shows so clearly the large number of startups that Yahoo has spawned. You only get this kind of boost to the ecosystem from companies that are a) very large, and b) were recently startups themselves.
And the benefits aren’t limited to the creation of companies. I haven’t seen any stats, but I would posit that startups created by Yahoo alumni are more successful than average. They should be, as they will enjoy greater access to angel money (Yahoo created a lot of wealth for employees), greater access to Yahoo for partnerships and market insight, and finally relationships with senior Yahoo execs will make them more likely to be acquired by Yahoo.
The conclusion is clear – having more large indigenous tech companies in UK and Europe will help our ecosystem immeasurably. We already have companies like Autonomy, ARM, Skype and SAP which I don’t think is bad given the relative youth of the startup scene over here, but if we are serious about rivalling Silicon Valley over the next 10-20 years then we need to add to that list.