Last Friday we concluded two intense weeks of work in the Desafía San Francisco program. Due to the confinement caused by the current situation both in Spain and in the USA with the COVID-19, this has been the first completely online edition of the prestigious program organized jointly by ICEX and Red.es, for which this year, Enisa has also contributed.
In spite of the challenge of being the first online edition, both Christian and Maria have done an exceptional job and so the level and capacity of filling our heads with ideas has not been affected, fulfilling their main objective.
From ChainGO Tech the objective of our participation was undoubtedly to validate some pre-established ideas and to analyze the best practices that would allow us to define our Go-to-market strategy in the American market.
The result has been much better than expected, going much further than we initially thought. It has made us rethink many of the ideas and hypotheses on a global level as a company.
The program content can be divided into four large blocks:
1) Practical sessions associated with landing in the American market and more specifically in Silicon Valley.
In this block there were legal and administrative sessions related to visas and work permits, re-domestication processes in American companies, the characteristics of the labor market in San Francisco (average salaries), among others.
Especially interesting were the initial sessions organized by Christian and Maria and the session led by the ICEX representative in Los Angeles on the characteristics of the American market, by geography and main hubs.
2º) Global strategy sessions. With talks on sales processes, pitching, and innovation.
Within this block I would like to highlight the privilege of listening to Michael Eckhardt, director of the Chasm Institute and author of Crossing the Chasm, a true bible of entrepreneurship.
3º) Sessions to understand the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
Here we can highlight the sessions with VCs from San Francisco who gave us some insights on their investment strategies in seed rounds.
We would also like to highlight in this block our discussion with Jordi Ortiz, manager of strategy and operations at Google, in which he explained the secrets of Google’s culture and the weight it has on the company’s day-to-day business.
4º) Success stories.
In these sessions, entrepreneurs with projects in different phases and who have gone through the program told about their experience, why it helped them and in case they had made the jump as it has been or is going.
Each day the work sessions ended with a briefing session in which each of the startups shared what had most caught their attention. Without a doubt, this was the best way to find that point of understanding between the entrepreneurs, which by not being together attending the trainings was the biggest challenge.
From our experience in these programs, after having participated in Desafía Tel Aviv last year, this connection between entrepreneurs is one of the most interesting points of these programs, creating links and possibilities of collaboration in the future.
If we had to stay with one specific idea of these two weeks it was that the experience and knowledge about entrepreneurship from our speakers was overwhelming.
In San Francisco, companies that are born or move have a global vision and have access to the knowledge of many others that have already taken the same steps, with their successes and failures. And whether we decide to take the next step in San Francisco or wherever we go, we leave with knowledge that applies universally to our future path.
We are counting the days until we are able to go to San Francisco for a week and conclude this great program with meetings and networking with all the participants.
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