Takeaways from a week in Silicon Valley, part 1

Well…we’re back at the office after an epic trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto. All pumped up, super inspired and full of new ideas on how to improve our operations and processes.

In Palo Alto we started out at Nordic Innovation House, where we got a warm welcome from Anne Lidgard, Director of Vinnova Silicon Valley & San Francisco and Yvonne Ericsson, Community Manager of Nordic Innovation House. They brought us up to date on current programs and support Nordic Startups can get, like the four weeks soft landing offer they have (TINC), or co-working and virtual office options offered. Don’t miss our special post on those offers, coming up soon!

We also had a meeting with Johan Brenner, General Partner at Creandum Silicon Valley, who generously shared his view on Chalmers Innovation and gave us helpful pointers on how to attract the attention of later stage VC’s along with a wishlist of criteria to be fulfilled in order to be considered for investments. Johan and his wishlist will also be featured in a special post in a few weeks.

No Silicon Valley trip without a visit to Googleplex, right? Per Hedberg, Head of online marketing at Google Maps for Work, took us on a tour through the premises. We got to see the conference rooms (Google Hangouts are default on screen), the main cafeteria (where Sergei and Larry answer staff’s questions in person every week) and the infinity pool, where you swim against the streams, constantly observed by a lifeguard. And then we went bananas in the merchandise store.

We made the mandatory visit to Stanford, just to take in the surroundings and wonder around in awe. Hanging around with students and regretting not studying there…

A quick visit to world renowned innovation design firm IDEO, getting ideas on how to plan for co-creation spaces. Fun creative areas like the famous toy lab and prototype areas or how to plan open work areas for the benefit of cross pollination of creative forces.

We then got picked up by our former fund CEO now Scale VC partner Timo Lehes who hosted us at his awesome Palo Alto house a few blocks from Steve Jobs old one, and Larry Pages current. We got his updated view on investments made by him in the past few years, lessons learned and Scale VC’s investment strategy for the future. Certainly got us thinking about how to prep our portfolio for possible flips in the future. Thanks Timo, we’ll keep in touch for future endeavours!