Startup Community Leadership Mission – Day 4 “Silicon Valley”​


Day 4

Crazy cool day… packed with sooooo many great opportunities to connect with game changers.

09:30 Bus to Mountain View Silicon Valley

11:00 – 11:45 500 Startups –

500 startups have 3 permanent offices, San Francisco city, Silicon Valley & Mexico City

4 intakes a year, up to 40 startups per intake, 1600+ startups have gone through the program since 2011. 4 month program (assigned 2 coaches), 2 months coaching for growth, 2 months’ fund raising.

Vertical tracks just introduced

San Francisco

  • Digital Health
  • Fintech

Mountain View

  • B to B
  • Beauty & Fashion

Each team receives $150k, however they hold back $37.5k program fees. Convertible note. Offers Coworking space for 3 people. 6% equity is taken

Huge international contingent ie: current batch has 40% international

Selection process. Open application

1. Phone screening call (about 1000 people)

2. 45 min call or face to face more in-depth (about 500-700 interviews)

3. Final in depth interview (44)

Looking for: Launched product, fully committed team, revenue (but not all companies are making revenue). 1 metric $10k per month reoccurring revenue (not a hard and fast rule)

Most will go back to where they are from after the accelerator program… but come here for capital raising

30% female founders. Not intentionally

Seems like a great option for those that can relocate for at least 4 months
11:45 12:15 Lunch at Red Rock Café –

Essentially everyone on a laptop

13:00 14:00 Hackers/Founders Meeting –

Met with Johnathan Nelson from Hackers & Founders which started as a group of 5 people in a bar. Their presence now extends to 145 cities, 45 countries, which he suggested is the largest network of entrepreneurs in the world with over 200,000 members in 47 countries.

The accelerator is a tight-knit cooperative, where concierge services are provided in exchange for equity, and where founders help each other and elect each other to the program.

Essentially what Johnathan has created an ecosystem to support “hackers and founders” and is considered an expert in building startup ecosystems. He recommended reading for anyone building a startup ecosystem –

Interesting comments by Johnathan

  • Stuff gets done in Silicon Valley
  • Things change really quickly here. The life of an entrepreneur changes, grows. You can be nowhere, then you are somewhere.
  • Figure out how to sell something more than hours
  • “Video games are a gateway drug into tech startup world”… an awareness for parents who are overly concerned about their children playing too many video games. Encourage your children to look at building money as like building video game points. Keep levelling up your character so you can get better at playing the game.

Ways we can support Johnathan at Hackers & Founders:

1. Connect startups moving to SV to his network

2. Consider starting a Hackers & Founders chapter in your region
14:30 15:30 Singularity University Labs –

SingularityU – “We exit to change the world”. The premise of Singularity University is to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people through the use of exponential technologies.

Meet with the team at SU Labs: Startups, which run summer programs and an 8 week accelerator program

8 week program has 3 core objectives:

  1. funding
  2. program
  3. advice

Equity is exchanged

  • 7% startups
  • 2% later stage companies
  • 39 companies have been through their accelerator program

Applications process generally involves 400 applications – who are solving a global problem…. using exponential technology. This is refine down to around 10. What the SU Lab team is looking for is:

  1. Traction
  2. Founding team
  3. mission fit

Applications are received from all around the world.

“The Singularity is Near” – book Recommended reading –

Australia SU summit is scheduled for 2017.
18:30 – 20:30 Group Dinner with 7 (awesome) Aussie guests

Awesome night chatting with these Aussie’s living in SF

Mick Liubinskas –

Chris Raethke –

Greg Russell –

Chris Saad (Uber) –

Mike Sive –

Hamish Hawthorn –

Joel Pobar (Facebook) –

Insights from day 4:

  1. Startup Catalyst = Cultural Transformation. If you get a chance to go on a mission… go!
    First product of any venture is just to get involved in the conversation… so you can understand what the problem space is.
  2. What hurts? Ask your customers what hurts to gain an insight into opportunities
  3. “Video games are a gateway drug into the tech startup world” – Johnathan Hackers & Founders… For parents who are concerned about extensive game play.
  4. theSPACE is older than (or as old) probably half the companies (coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators) we’ve met with this past 4 days. These are multimillion dollar companies. I’m confident that we work as hard on our company as they do… so what’s the difference? Connections, opportunity, location!!!
  5. The best way to raise money is to get 100 no’s. That’s 100 reasons why someone won’t give you money. Fix that!
  6. You can be from most places in the world and be excepted into one of a number of programs (ie: accelerator) in the Bay Area. You can do the program and go back to where your from.

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