Archives for the month of: September, 2012

We are 3 weeks into our Silicon Valley trip and we have certainly learned a great deal about what makes the place tick.  The first real eye-opener was Techcrunch Disrupt.  This was 3 days of great speakers and lots of startup activity going on throughout.  The conference agenda was really high quality and featured a who’s who from the world of startups, including Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Draper and even Jessica Alba. It was less clear how the conference really works for early stage startups.  The high price of entry to startup alley does not give enough payback. The alley is overcrowded and too few investors are interested in walking around. Something needs to be done about this if startup entrepreneurs are not to feel let down. There was also little opportunity to network with investors at the parties in the evenings.  The official parties all took place in venues with very loud music and very few investors attended.

Our experience of the Valley itself has been more interesting.  We have met many VCs and a few angels. We still have more to see over the next week.  The general consensus is that they are becoming increasingly interested in deal flow from outside the valley but that this has to be highly filtered by others in advance.  The Valley was described as being like a sweet shop where the investors are spoiled for choice. Therefore, there must to be a really good reason to look further afield.

However, almost everyone we met was open to being introduced to the top startups from our platform and we will therefore be conducting be cautiously introducing a few shortly after we return.

The famous Valley networking does exist but it is not necessarily much different to London.  The real difference is the supporting ecosystem and the sheer volume of emerging quality startups. There is also a high concentration of so much activity in a relatively small place. We now have a clearer picture as to how to develop the Dreamstake platform to provide startups with the support they need, outside of Silicon Valley. So WATCH THIS SPACE!

Dreamstake is an online startup platform linking startup founders with quality investors. The platform provides early stage companies with the supporting ecosystem to make sure that they become investment ready in the shortest possible timescale. We support startups with access to learning, team members and funding.

Dear Startup Heroes,

We are finally here in San Francisco. It’s a public holiday weekend so there has been plenty of time to explore. No one told us that it would be quite so cold! However, despite this, first impressions are great. We arrived at about 2 o’clock on Thursday 30th with the usual jet lag and took a cab to the apartment on 21st and Castro. The apartment is part of one of those beautiful Victorian properties that have been converted. It is situated between the Castro district, famous for it’s lively largely gay community and Noe Valley which has a family, young professional feel about it. On Thursday evening we managed to ignore the jet lag and took a cab down to Pier 39 for some seafood.

Yesterday, we walked into Noe Valley. The first thing we realised was that just walking a few blocks in San Francisco is totally exhausting.  There are so many hills! However, we managed to walk into town for lunch at a bistro, collect some shopping and walk back to the apartment a few hours later.

It is easy to see why this area has become the home to so many startups.  A generally, nice climate, very open friendly people, great customer service and lot’s more going for it.

We have a few more days of holiday before the real work begins. We have booked to attend Techcrunch Disrupt conference and will be exhibiting Startup Alley. It is a very exciting opportunity to tell the world about the exciting European startups on our platform and to attract investment into Dreamstake.