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.