Two years ago I participated in a trip to Silicon Valley. This trip consisted of pitch training and visits to both start-ups and established companies in the valley. The most useful thing I got out of this trip is that I learned to present myself as an American. I can explain what I do in 20 seconds and I am not afraid or ashamed anymore to call myself one of the worlds best researchers in the field of spreadsheets and this is a very useful skill.
Secondly, we visited a lot of great companies.
We went to Mozilla, where I saw the Mozilla dinosaur (btw don’t recognize this guy? You should watch Code Rush!) We went to Stanford, to Google and to Flipboard. Every single person we spoke to, showed us it can be done: You can start a company from a your basement, you can get millions of users for an open source tool. The real power of the valley is that everyone thinks that everything is possible. Coming from the Dutch ‘normal is crazy enough’ state of mind, this can just be the push you need to actually start something.
And the great news is: this year there will be another trip especially for students and researchers of EWI at TU Delft. The program is not confirmed yet, but it will again include pitch training and visits to Microsoft Research, Skype, Google and Mozilla. I am joining again, because I could use some more ‘yes we can’. How about you?
More info? Go to: http://www.silicon.ewi.tudelft.nl/ Application closes Februari 21st