The 12 Entrepreneurs: Kickoff Meeting


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The 12 Entrepreneurs: Kickoff Meeting

  1. 1. Interdependencies: Silicon Valley & Europe<br />22 September 2010<br />Welcome to the 12E kickoff<br />
  2. 2. Of the following:<br />Germany<br />England<br />Ireland<br />France<br />Norway<br />Denmark<br />Finland<br />Sweden<br />Which has created the most entrepreneurial activity in the valley? Have established a presence or even moved HQ here?<br />Why do you say that?<br />Audience participation<br />
  3. 3. I’m IdaRose Sylvester, co-founder of Silicon Valley Link<br />We conduct research on European innovation in Silicon Valley, as part of our consulting practice<br />And we do strategic marketing & business development for US & European companies<br />We understand the motivations of Europeans and know the issues those in cross border business face; we meet dozens of European entrepreneurs a month, and understand their dreams, interests, and biases<br />Introduction<br />
  4. 4. Why work with Europe<br />There are so many opportunities in the Valley<br />Our answer: because the valley and Europe need each other now, more than ever before<br />It is our desire our responsibility to support an emerging European entrepreneurial movement, to the betterment of all entrepreneurs and the global economy<br />And on a personal level we have worked in large and small European companies and have seem some very big mistakes made we wish to prevent<br />We are often asked <br />
  5. 5. First, there is a major rise in European entrepreneurship, and we have much to teach and learn from each other<br />We both have resources the other needs to improve global innovation<br />And we need to put together a true network<br />So do the Valley and Europe need each other right now?—now what?<br />
  6. 6. While the data I presented might be of interest, what truly matters is the rise of European entrepreneurship<br />Just a fraction of the companies being founded or even successful in region that dream of the Valley<br />An unprecedented number of companies are being founded. Fewer people trust or are interested in working for the old, boring companies. Economic crisis creates unrest. Inspiration comes from the Valley. And people are saying why not me?<br />Centers of innovation & incubators are popping up all over Europe<br />Entrepreneurial drive, despite the rumors to the contrary, is at an all time high<br />MNCs ceding the role of innovation to startups<br />Of course university support and early government grants help kickstart many companies<br />Rise of European entrepreneurship<br />
  7. 7. Attitudes are different<br />Family and friends are less supportive<br />Venture is minimal<br />Sales channels are small<br />And an aversion to risk-by VCs, customers and the entrepreneurs themselves, get in the way of success<br />But<br />
  8. 8. The Valley has long thrived on an inflow of new ideas, brought by people from outside it<br />The Valley is made up of people from many cultures, diversifying our ideas of how to work together, new business models<br />And frankly as we exit the recession, we desperately need new talent<br />We need new places to invest capital<br />We need to encourage healthy global trade<br />So why should Silicon Valley support?<br />
  9. 9. Europe has many new ideas, whole new ways of designing businesses and products<br />And needs access to the capital, dynamic human resources and wild west attitudes about taking risk, the desire to keep innovating no matter the success of failure of the past<br />Best practices around supporting innovation and creating markets<br />Especially true in emerging or transitional economies<br />So why should Silicon Valley support?<br />
  10. 10. Time zones, languages, cultures will always be in the way of easy cross border innovation and business development<br />For example, you are from a European country, say Holland, 16M people. You have a successful business in country, maybe selling software for Dutch companies. You want to come to the US, so you simply translate your materials and hire more sales people.<br />You find out the making it in the US is simply not a matter of scale—which in this case is 20x. It’s a matter of how you position your product, how you sell, how you enter contracts, the speed at which you design, how you meet regulatory demands<br />But…the World I’SNT FLAT<br />
  11. 11. Until you realize<br />Silicon valley really needs to share some best practices and support translation of European into American<br />But…we have no central mission or dream in place to be, no place for Europeans to turn<br />And on and on<br />
  12. 12. People who can understand European entrepreneurs, support them, share best practices<br />But, silicon valley has over 100! organizations dedicated to Europeans.<br />We have the regional dev agencies to support business growth from the government mandate<br />We have chambers of commerce to support business changes<br />We have cultural groups<br />We have one pan country group and that’s the Silicon Vikings<br />One solution: a pan-European network<br />
  13. 13. All of these groups have breakfasts, lunches, dinners, cocktails, holiday parties, sporting events, conferences and seminars<br />You can connect with people face to face and online on twitter, linkedin, facebook,, and visit their websites, get emails and newsletters<br />And they are everywhere<br />
  14. 14. WE DO<br />These groups, all of which support a distinct cause and have merit in their own right, also from the perspectives we share today, dilute attention and resources away from a pan-European cause by forcing focus on one country and in some cases regions WITHIN one country<br />So who needs more?<br />
  15. 15. In the 1950s, immigrants came to Silicon Valley from Asia and India, flocking to the aerospace dream and then to this new industry called semiconductors<br />First isolated, and then starting to form cultural and professional alliances, Chinese, Indian and Taiwanese groups gained social power, then wealth, as companies grew and became successful. <br />Once employees, these immigrants became entrepreneurs, generating power and wealth, over decades. <br />Why it matters<br />
  16. 16. And then something interesting happened: many of these immigrants went back home, or sent money home, which inspired success at home. <br />This success encourage the flow of more people, capital and ideas, and the trend continues, a virtuous circle.<br />Asia is now the number 2 investor into the valley<br />And then<br />
  17. 17. Well isn’t Asia different? Not at all: huge geographical differences, many languages and many cultures, many political systems<br />The uniting cause simply needs to be some cultural glue that unites a movement to dream big<br />And 12E is here to do it for Europe<br />And what can we learn?<br />
  18. 18. Be a resource for global entrepreneurs<br />Provide best practices, real world advice, smooth the transition<br />Promote European entrepreneurship and legitimize it<br />Lastly encourage Europeans to dream big; inspire them to do so<br />What 12E needs to do<br />