An Opera Singer in Silicon Valley
Until recently I did not know what an "Accelerator" is. I have heard about incubators which are places where start-up companies are nurtured. Plug and Play
is an accelerator. It understands its role in speeding up the development of young companies and in growing them rapidly. It is amazing to be selected into such a program.
Plug and Play Tech Center has a long history in Silicon Valley and the internet start up space. A history it can be proud of. Among the companies Plug and Play accelerated where no others than Google itself, Dropbox, PayPal
and several others we all are familiar with.
Plug and Play sees five parts in its ecosystem: innovation, logistical support, mentorship, networking and investment
. It supports all of its 300 companies on site at any time in these areas. Start up companies stay between one to eighteen months at Plug and Play.
The program HELLO STAGE is in runs for three months. It is loosely structured with talks, opportunities to pitch and networking events.
I find myself in the middle of a large windowless open space office which I am sharing with a lot of other companies. Just getting them to know is a great experience. One of my neighbours, Adventure Bucket List
, brings together activity providers around the globe with travel sites so that you can book your next sky diving adventure.
In the afternoon I was asked to do a pitch presentation for the Media & Mobile Meet Up just two hours later. This is one of the regular industry events organized around Silicon Valley where start-ups get together with people from various industries and investors. It was a bit of a short notice. Luckily I have several presentations on my computer.
Pitch presentations are just five minutes long with a short question and answer session following. It was great to pitch 48 hours after I arrived in Silicon Valley. A good learning experience.
Even better, I thought, was listening to the other two companies presenting. Both developed an app around news. Newsbeat
is your personal on demand news radio show. Based on your preferences you get articles from newspapers, magazines, and blogs read to you. NOD, News on Demand
, offers you the three most relevant news stories of the day for you to read on your iPhone. It learns your interest from you nodding or dismissing a headline.
I am looking forward to learning much more about other start-ups and to continuing interesting and sometimes challenging discussions. It is good to be hear and I am proud of HELLO STAGE that we made it. I would wish that the whole team could share this unique experience. Thanks to the Austrian Trade Commission - Advantage Austria – to make such a program possible.