As we dive into the week of July 23rd, marking our program’s 10th week, we immerse ourselves more and more into the Valley environment to fulfill the program’s initiative. Our program’s vision and the trust we instill in our startups have proven to yield amazing results so far.
This week was particularly heavy on 1:1 sessions and guests. Not only did we welcome multiple guest speakers, but we also conducted individual sessions with our startups to help them receive a more personalized approach to their growth. The first guest of the week was Frederik Groce, an associate at Storm Ventures. Frederik is a Stanford alumnus, who also served as the CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises, helping it reach an asset total of over 15 million dollars. He also oversaw the Stanford accelerator program and worked as a mentor at East Bay College Fund, responsible for working with minority college students coming from underprivileged communities in East Bay. Known for his entrepreneur identity and his commitment to civic engagement, we were utterly inspired to get to know Frederik. His 1:1’s with our teams were more than delightful and engaging.
Another exciting aspect of the week was how our teams switched positions for the day to become mentors rather than mentees for newly formed startups within an acceleration program. Our scaling partner and contributor Starcamp, who is simultaneously running an acceleration program with 8 startups from Turkey has temporarily moved its location to the Valley. Our Managing Director Çiğdem Toraman and our teams were more than happy to share their current experience within the program and support them with their recently gained expertise, failures, and successes.
Our Managing Director also conducted a meeting with Sinan Eren, conducting a general analysis of the program and the startups, as well as arranging a future mentoring session. Mr. Eren is serving as the CEO of Fyde, a cybersecurity company focusing on mobile device protection, that has recently raised 3 million dollars in seed-stage funding from both Draper Nexus and Vertex Ventures. Before this, Mr. Eren was the co-founder of Remotium, a company that was acquired by Avast.
One of our primary guests of the week was Andrew Shannon, the Head of Global in Startupbootcamp London. We welcomed Andy for 3 days in the office, where he conducted truly insightful 1:1’s with all the teams. Startupbootcamp is one of the world’s largest innovation programs with more than 500 portfolio companies and 100 corporate clients. Startupbootcamp has been supporting thousands of entrepreneurs through their 23 offices in 14 countries. To this day, they have accelerated a grand total of 607 startups, with 1.168 million euros of average funding and 424 million euros of total funding. They have supported founders build a record value of over 1 billion euros in the past.
Andy has experience working with angels and tech transfer groups. He also has previously worked as a Family Office Investment manager, through which he initiated the exit of a portfolio company called ExpenseMagic. Hearing about his expertise in high growth business, seed & venture investment, startup operations and ecosystem development was priceless. It was extremely helpful for the teams to hear alternative opinions and suggestions.
Our very own Buck.ai reflected on the past week by sharing that they have particularly cherished the mentoring they received from Andy Shannon. The mentoring was quite extraordinary in that there was no pitch deck, no fancy graphics, but rather just raw words about the product, process, and the customer. “Andy suggested that we change our approach from deduction to induction. That means that, rather than starting with the broad picture of technology, we should start with the smallest painkiller possible for the potential customer and explain our roadmap to investors from that point on.” They seek the execute this roadmap in the near future and share their progress.
The more individualized approach we had towards our teams and the support we gained from our guest speakers made this week stand out among the others in extremely inspiring ways. We are excited to further observe the solid results these weeks will bring in the near future.