Day one @ the Silicon Valley – get inspired

We started the day @ Swisscom’s office where Herman Gyr gave us a short introduction to the Silicon Valley Ecosystem. Herman grew up in Switzerland and now lives around Palo Alto for more than 30 years. The Silicon Valley in numbers: 7mio People, 39% foreigners, 4 world class universities, 40% of all Venture Money in the US comes from Sand Hill Road (one of the famous streets at the Silicon Valley)

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After this introduction, we went over to google where we had a meeting with Daniel Graf, Head of google maps (so, really one of the top shots @ Google..) Daniel is Swiss as well and works now for 2.5 years at google. Befor his google-time he founded and successfully sold the Swiss Startup Kyte. The discussion with Daniel was very open and he gave us the following startup tips:

  1. Be open. What means that you have to talk to as many people as you can about your idea.
  2. Don’t worry too much about concurrence, focus on execution!
  3. Don’t worry about valuation. Ask yourself, do you wanna own 50% of a small pie or 10% of a large pie!

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And yes of course, the lunch at Google was also a highlight, because it’s free to everyone and very tasty! 😉

Our next meeting was then at Plug and Play, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest incubators. They gave us a short tour through the location. For me much more impressive than the rooms and location has been the Plug and Play sales guy. He was a real marketing-maschine! And I think, they really have to be good in marketing, because without, you just won’t to be able to rent those rooms….

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No windows, tiny , dirty and not very “inspiring”…But they are successful and many famous Startups started at Plug and Play (Paypal for example).

This brings me to the final conclusion of the day, the pitching. There we still can learn a lot from those US-Guys and US-Startups. They are extremely good and trained in elevator pitching. Of course, this is part of the US-culture but not only. Due to the huge concurrence they just have to be able to convince people in a very short time. Because time is the most important asset that everybody has at the Silicon Valley. It’s not money, it’s time!!

Stay tuned!  #SSupC13