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If you're itching to start a company out of a garage, then you shouldn't pick up and move to Silicon Valley, says Russian immigrant Sergey Brin, who cofounded Google at Stanford University, after immigrating to the United States with his family at the age of 6. With help from an advisor who put him in touch with Larry Page while they were studying at Stanford, they implemented a new algorithm, called Page Rank, on top of a data mining system Brin was already developing. With further help from the Stanford community's network, they soon received a check for US$100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, written to a company that did not yet exist. About a year later, they announced closing a $25 million round from Sequoia Capital, who suggested hiring an external CEO in the form of Eric Schmidt. Within 4 years Microsoft started making bids for the company, though Google eventually went public instead. Today Sergey Brin is one of three people listed as 11th richest in the world, with a net worth of US$39.2 billion.

Recently speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, he said onstage, "It's easier to start a company outside the Valley than in it."

In a follow-up interview, he was asked to reflect on the $100,000 check he received from Andy Bechtolsheim of Sun Microsystems, before Google existed. Now that he himself was worth billions, would he write a similar check based on a pitch from someone living in Kansas, the interviewer asked. Sergey Brin laughed.

"That would sort of contradict what I've been saying here," he said with a laugh. "Maybe try kickstarter? But if you ever do move to Silicon Valley definitely reach out."

He then got very serious:"Seriously though. We live in a connected world. It doesn't matter where you live. It matters what you build."

He then apologized saying he had to run, and drove off in a pre-production Tesla Model 3 in fiery red, produced by South African immigrant Elon Musk, who made his fortune at PayPal, based in San José, and now runs Tesla Motors based in Palo Alto. An odd choice for Brin to be driving, as Google is said to be developing its own driverless vehicle.

That is, if a few startup kids in Detroit don't beat them to the punch. You can read about the extraordinary results of the Detroit startup company (find link) . One thing's for sure: just as Brin eloquently stated, there's nothing stopping them.

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