At day 2 of the Hackvention Experience Tour we discovered how fast growing Silicon Valley tech and hardware companies innovate rapidly and develop digital products in a growth-enabling superior start-up ecosystem fostered by cooperations with large companies, Corporate Venture Capital, incubators and accelerators.
The tour started with a ride through the typical traffic to Mountain View to the global headquarter of Google. Our Spanish friend and guide Asier, product manager at Google, introduced us into the core values of the company and exemplified within numerous anecdotes how these vivid values positively affect his daily work in the company. In the visitor centre we discovered relicts of the past and finally had lunch in the impressive Google cafeteria.
Afterwards, we went to Sunnyvale to visit two rapidly growing start-ups. Victor, founder of YBVR gave us insights into the founder’s and the company’s history and showed us their solution that claims to optimize 360 degree streaming quality for any available bandwidth condition. As a spin-off of a leading tech company the team was able to reach significant market traction within a few months and several smart decisions.
As we subsequently entered the office of Ohmnilabs we were impressed by the professionality of the Ohmnilab founder Thuc guiding us through his company: the young founder who previously sold companies to Google showed us properly organized and lean managed production lines, self-customized 3-D-printing technology and incredibly smart people in the fields of robotics and computer science. The company is working on a robot that connects especially elderly people with their relatives anywhere in the world through a real-time presence.
Overwhelmed by all the impressions we then finally went to Plug & Play Silicon Valley Tech Centre. Plug & Play is a start-up accelerator operating worldwide and at the same time offering an innovation platform for corporates. The Austrian manager Johannes showed us around the facilities that hosts more than 400 teams and gave insights into the firm’s success stories and current portfolio. Within a relaxed and casual discussion, he explained the essentials of start-up growth in the U.S. and told us how large cooperations and start-ups can benefit from each other. Looking back on years of experience in building up spin-offs and scouting start-ups for corporates, the casual meeting in the “VC Room” ended with lots of clarity and two start-up pitches in the fields of VR/AR.
Finally the tour participants drove back in the Experience Tour Bus to Palo Alto to see the house of Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg from the outside and several other world-famous birthplaces of Silicon Valley based tech companies. After having dinner together in Palo Alto, an impressive day with countless new impressions ended. Our participants returned back impressed and tired at the same time looking forward for the next adventurous final day.