Saturday, May 17, 2008

IE Silicon Valley tour: 4) VC in SV

Michele Libraro presented what is likely the most important factor of the Silicon Valley repeated success in spurring innovation: the financial community.

Michele, now CEO of GlobalStartUps, has had a long hands-on experience in large telco corporations (i.e. CISCO) and the VC world.

I believe the topic he addressed is worth a course all together.

Here's a much longer version of what Michele actually had time to present:

- private equity & venture capital
- industry trends
- capitalizing a start-up
- organizational issues

Thursday, May 15, 2008

IE Silicon Valley tour: 3) Google Geo

Among Google's presentation, we had Bernardo Hernandez (now Head of Geomarketing at Google) presenting the amazing innovations coming from Google Geo.

Once all the information are geo-referenced, how differently will we manage our access to every day tools? how UGC and community building will affect the growth and quality of geo-referenced information?

Here's a snippet of Berni's presentation:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

IE Silicon Valley tour: 2) Innovation at YouTube

The first company on-site visit we planned was (guess where?) at the Google's headquarters in Mountain View.
After breakfast and a guided tour of the facilities (yes, with tour-guides...), we assembled a few company presentations. The overall topic was "how to preserve innovation".

Here's the presentation from my good friend Luis Garcia, international product manager at You Tube.
Luis had a very interactive presentation, to his words, using the group as beta-testers...
YouTube is probably one of the most amazing examples of a perfect-timing innovation whose deep disruptions are still to be fully witnessed.

Here's Luis's presentation:

- video as a social act
- dimension of the YT phenomena
- building communities
- seeds for innovation

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

IE Silicon Valley tour: 1) Intro to Silicon Valley

The week of May 12-17 I've been involved with the organization of the second Silicon Valley tour for the students of the Instituto de Empresa business school.
This year students included both the regular and the executive classes of the Master in Management Telecom and Digital Business.

The program of the 5 day-visit is particularly interesting and filled with on-site visits to innovating companies in the Valley (see Syllabus).

I had the pleasure to start off the week presenting my point of view on the

Addressed points in the presentation:
- History of the SV
- The Pillars of the SV
- Soft success factors
- VC investments overlook
- Suggestions for the week

Overall, we did have an interesting discussion, apparently totally unaffected by the jet lag (they arrived the day before from Madrid). But, as we all know, people in Madrid eat pure energy for breakfast...(Seriously, I never figured out how Madrilenos manage to party til morning and be in the office at 8.30 day in, day out... but that's worth a different post...)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Starting (up) from ROMA

On April 15th we held the 1st Mind the Bridge workshop in Rome.

The event took place in one of the endless wonderful palaces in Rome, now base of the Center for Italian-American Studies.

Getting back to Rome after a few years, mostly spent in the "new world", kind of made an impression on me. We need a constant memory refresh to remind the beauties that surround us in Italy.
The same applies for the event we had. I was extremely pleased that in such a short time we were able to put together likely the best of the current Italian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
On one side, in the morning we had presentations from the best of breed of Italian seed and VC investors (here's the list of participants).
Their presentations were very practical, informational and down-to-earth.
In the afternoon, the ball moved into the start-up field. We participated to parallel presentations of 28 start-ups, most of them participants of the first edition of the MtB business plan competition.
Here's a list of the presenting start-ups, and a short description.

Now, it goes without saying that we have some margins for improvement, in selecting, presenting and receiving the new great business ideas our country is producing.
But it was refreshing to see gathered a smart group of prospective entrepreneurs on one side and a growing group of local investors on the other, talking the same language, try to build critical mass, sharing information candidly.
I had the impression that a new wave is just starting, and it's just thrilling that Mind the Bridge is among the drivers of such a change.

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