At day one of the Hackvention Experience Tour we went back to where innovation starts: from leading universities and research institutions, to the heart of the intrapreneurial community and operational VCs.
The tour started in SAPs HanaHaus right in the heart of Silicon Valley in the Centre of Palo Alto - an amazingly inspirational and open workspace for entrepreneurs, artists, designers, thinkers, students and writers. HanaHaus is a space in Silicon Valley where different people meet, socialize, share ideas and shape the future together. The German community manager Daniel showed us around, told us several interesting anecdotes and explained SAP founder Hasso Plattners vision with this space.
While having one of the best coffees in Silicon Valley, we met with the German 500 Start-ups Mentor and Silicon Valley expert Angelika and her famous dog Charlie Elmo. Angelika told us her personal story, explained the hidden secrets of successful German expats and coached how people and companies can sustainably connect and integrate themselves into the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
After gaining that fundamental knowledge we had lunch with the Serial Entrepreneur and Berkley University Startup Coach George in the exclusive "Foundry Club" in the middle of the Campus of the world famous UC Berkeley. George told us about the academic tradition of the top-tier university and gave us insights in how a constant knowledge-exchange process with partnering companies fosters academic research and innovation at the same time. In the exchange with Marcus, a German climate change leader in the fields of renewable energies and member of the "Forbes 30 under 30" list, he gave insights into the innovation-seeking mindset and innovation-fostering societal framework in the U.S.
Typically American we then discovered UC Berkely’s American Football Team “Cal Bears“, the pride of university in their "holy" training room. We learned how the university attracts the world's most valuable academic and sports talents, seeks for funding and how modern training technology changed the rules even in professional sports.
After having fresh drinks in a typical Californian coffee bar with relaxing beats, we went back to San Francisco visiting GVA Capital's hackt.com. GVA is an operational Venture Capitalist, testing and empowering ideas around the globe through early stage investing and business incubation. We were overwhelmed when we entered their co-working and office space: an old, historic and still authentic Mexican church right in the middle of one of the steepest streets in San Francisco.
Finally the tour participants drove back in the Experience Tour Bus over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to Mountain View through the famous Lombard Street and the VC hotspot Sand Hill Road visiting Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and Andreessen-Horrowitz. With uncountable new impressions, inspired minds and lots of energy the first day ended looking forward for Day 2 of the tour.