Mind The Bridge

This week I’ve been out and about a lot seeing our industry partners and one thing that strikes me is the diversity, the fantastic mix of nationalities, in SF and the Valley… and the desire for foreign governments to help high-growth companies get here.

Met the folks at TiE in Santa Clara who must have one of the biggest footprints globally of any entrepreneurship organization. They’re backed by Kauffman and doing some really interesting things around youth entrepreneurship particularly – from Sydney and Ottawa, London, Tokyo, Bangalore, Karachi, the Nordics, and with their flagship Silicon Valley chapter. We were busy plotting all kinds of things for the year ahead. Actually some people have said they’re not the force they used to be, and certainly there’s been a whole raft of new players on the entrepreneurial scene. But you can’t argue with the big names attracted to TiECon or the impact their programs are having around, for example, Youth Entrepreneurship – their expansion into Asia (advising the Singapore Govt on how to invest in entrepreneurs) and the momentum in the primary, and now, in many tier two Indian cities. For us, TiE has been a great partner for BizSpark and we’re excited at the prospect of doing more this year – especially with our friends at TiE SV.

Yesterday, at University Café in Palo Alto, Gioia from Swissnex SF briefed me on what they’re doing to attract high-growth early-stage companies over here for a three-month incubation, in partnership with the Innovation ministry in CH. IFJ (Institut für Jungunternehmen) is one of our most active Network Partners in BizSpark CH. We’ll look to promote this ‘bridging’ opportunity to our local BizSpark companies (227 of them) in the future. Did you see Switzerland ranked #1 in the INSEAD innovation index of 125 countries?   

Then I was reminded by Evan and Marco that the deadline for the next round of business plans to be submitted for Mind The Bridge, with co-working space and mentoring ‘gyms’ provided up at Pier 38 in SF, this is a great platform to help Italian startups get a foothold in the US. I met some in March, one of whom happened to be our friends at Mopapp (who, you may remember from previous posts was the Euro Summit winning company and also took home first prize from Seedcamp Berlin in April). Two days left to apply for their latest business plan competition!

This morning I spoke to Luis at Startupbootcamp via Skype – part of the TechStars Network – who filled me in on the latest news with their accelerator program in Spain and Denmark, and forthcoming expansion into Ireland, then Germany and the UK. Very exciting. I love the notion of Tetuan Valley – a pre-accelerator happening in Madrid and Barcelona in October.  

Then the guys at Seedcamp gave me an update on their plans. It’s all happenin’…  

So much buzz!

Published: 7/28/2011 12:36 PM

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