Friday, 20 March, 2015
Nordic Innovation House is a co-working space, a resource center and a networking hub located in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley. The initiative is funded by an alliance of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic and Danish governments, as well as Nordic Innovation (Nordic Council of Ministers) to promote cross-border innovation and business. When Chalmers Innovation visited their office, we took the chance to ask community manager Yvonne Ericsson and Anne Lidgard, Director for VINNOVA in Silicon Valley, a couple of questions on how Swedish startups can benefit from this. This is what they had to say:
A SOFT LANDING SPACE IN SILICON VALLEY
We offer a soft landing space for Nordic Tech companies; “rent a desk” if you are on a permanent base in San Francisco, or a “virtual office” if you still are in the Nordics but travel to Silicon Valley from time to time and want to appear has having presence in the US.
Our tenants use the office to work from (desk), to set up meetings in the conference room with local customers/clients/partners, to use the space to organize events and meetups, and to network with other entrepreneurs.
WHAT’S THE TINC PROGRAM?
TINC is a market validation program for tech startups from Norway and Sweden. It includes a 2 day kick-off in Oslo, followed by 4 weeks on site in Palo Alto. The companies are matched with experienced local mentors, and are encouraged to engage as much as possible with potential clients, partners, investors etc. in order to validate their business for the US/global market. There are also 4-5 days of workshops to make sure the entrepreneurs command the necessary skills.
ANY ADVICE TO SWEDISH STARTUPS GOING TO PALO ALTO?
- Be clear about what your goals are. Talk to people at Chalmers Innovation or other places who are familiar with Silicon Valley and the business culture here.
- Be well prepared. If you already have launched in Sweden, make sure you have metrics that show how your product is being adopted/used/etc… people here like data.
- Line up meetings in advance.
- Check out in advance about upcoming events in Silicon Valley.
- Reach out to the Nordic Innovation House to meet with like-minded, or if you need a desk for a day!
- Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch. Practice your pitch…