How it all started

Did I ever think that HELLO STAGE or I would become part of Silicon Valley? Not really. But on March 23rd, I am leaving to spend at least three months there. HELLO STAGE was invited into one of the leading accelerators, the Plug and Play Tech Center.
I have been too California and to Silicon Valley a few times. We even have our first technology partner there, GBox. I was fascinated by the innovative energy there, by the openness of the people, the interest in start-ups. Yes, I thought I would love to be part of that highly motivating atmosphere one day.

A few months ago, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce – Advantage Austria, wrote to me about a Go Silicon Valley initiative. I did not necessarily take that too seriously at first. But opposite to Austrian bureaucracy the application forms were short, simple and straightforward. So I filled them in one night and sent them off.

To all our surprise we were invited to pitch HELLO STAGE to a jury made up of Silicon Valley veterans. It was the typical US style pitch: 5 minutes presentation, 5 minutes Q & A. How can you get my passion and love but also the complexity of HELLO STAGE across in such a short time frame?

I took a picture from a super market to explain that in today’s world promoters are often marketing and selling like hypermarkets. Great products. Good prices. But hundreds of different events.

But people just want to get their favorite brand of chocolate. Or, in our terminology, most audience members are only interested in a few of them. They want to listen to performances by artists they like, by composers they are keen on, or the genre they are hooked on.

This is definitely part of our future. We want to connect each and every HELLO STAGE member with his or her fans.

Having over 6,500 members within the first year helped the presentation. Especially when compared to the 10.000 registered users AirBnB had in its first year.

Two days later we had the official confirmation that we were invited to join Plug and Play.

Now, what is an accelerator actually? Over the years there is an established ecosystem around start-ups. Incubators help entrepreneurs sharpening their idea and starting their business. Accelerators support start-ups which are already on the market to grow faster.

Plug and Play houses around 300 start-ups in Silicon Valley. They not only provide a basic infrastructure and the contact to other start-ups but also workshops, contacts to investors and to other companies which might help them in their growth.

HELLO STAGE is terribly excited to be part of this. For all our members and us this invitation provides a tremendous opportunity.

I am planning to write a diary once I started. I am looking forward to your comments!
Author: Bernhard Kerres
Comments [4]
Marianne Dumas - 2015-03-04 14:04
How exciting and wonderful! Congratulations!
Claus Hierluksch - 2015-03-04 18:41
Maria Busqué - 2015-03-05 11:43
Fantastic! Looking forward to reading your blog.
Anne Wieben - 2015-03-05 15:12
What terrific news!!Congratulations!!!
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