Reflecting back on yet another week of meeting inspiring individuals who are experts in their fields, pitching experiences, networking events and even surprise birthday parties, it is safe to say that this was a truly busy week for the teams.
Our week started off strong with our very own Utku from Buck.ai joining in Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce’s Business Referral Network as a result of our close business partnership with CoC. Utku had the privilege to join in on an event with startups focusing on security, life insurance, and financial advising sectors. The event featured an introduction to the 6 startup teams involved, minute-long elevator pitches, and 5 minute Q&A sessions. The network will keep conducting weekly events, allowing for each participant to merge their channel of people with the others, extending the network and letting the startups grow with strong references. It was exciting for us to observe how one of our startups became a part of this significant circle.
On Tuesday, we welcomed Yaara Guetta-Weidberg, the Senior Manager of the Entrepreneur Ecosystem at Mighty Capital. Mighty Capital is a leading investment company, comprised of 20 partners like Yaara who bring strategic initiatives to life through expert identification of market opportunities and product scaling. Mighty Capital heavily invests in Series A-B startups, with a range of 500.000 to 2.000.000 dollars. They present themselves as a unique company in that they co-invest with top VCs at later stages within the growth process. We were excited to arrange 1:1 sessions with our teams and Mighty Capital and truly value their insight regarding the market as a company that successfully invested in 8 startups just in the last year.
Along with our Managing Director Çiğdem Toraman, our teams attended the SF Bay Angels Investor event on the 31st. The event welcomed startups from seed to Pre-A stages and was useful in the networking opportunities it allowed the teams. Our MD, later conducted an individual meeting with Jordan Wahbeh, who is the MD and Executive Director of Bay Angels, arranging a mentoring session for our teams on Friday. The individual 1:1’s Jordan conducted with the teams were extremely eye-opening. Jordan elaborated on the Americanisation of foreign companies to have the full ability to immerse the company into the US market. His first 1:1 was with Saurabh from VeriSmart, in which he elaborated on the value proposition of the company, and stated that he was intrigued by the prospects of success this company could have in America. During his second meeting with Adam from Cabture, Jordan focused on how the business model and expectations should adapt from a European perspective to the American perspective. He was interested to hear about the product and talked about bringing an inventory to the US.
Jordan gave important insights regarding the distinctions between angels and VCs during his meeting with Codela. “Angels invest money from their own pockets and should thus love you or what you do at least 80%”, Jordan said. “There are 12 thousand startups here, more than half being a foreigner to the US market”, he proceeded, reassuring Codela about the prospects of success of these foreigner companies if they have already succeeded somehow in their original country. The following meetings were very individualized extending from topics on income models, revenue standards, influencer profiles and so forth. His analysis, expertise, and recommendations were invaluable for us in every sense of the word.
On the 1st of August, we welcomed Hakkı Alkan, the founder of shiftdelete.net, the biggest technology news site in Turkey. We had an extensive conversation on the Valley and business development.
This week was a reminder that we are really not just a scaling program, but a family that supports each other. We were excited to celebrate Vitalii’s birthday through a surprise party we threw in his honor. We wish him a year full of good investments and great opportunities for scaling and truly cherish his presence within our family. He was happy to hear that his birthday present was a 1:1 session with our wonderful MD Çiğdem Toraman (!).
One of the highlights of the week was the meeting that our MD conducted with Shomit Ghose, a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and a UC Berkeley alumni. Mr. Ghose inspired us with his versatile background as a venture capitalist, board member, and executive in mostly software start-ups. He currently serves as the MD and partner of ONSET Ventures, which is a venture capital firm and works extensively in youth development causes. His article that we had the privilege of reading, named “The Red Queen and the Inevitability of the Amazoogle Business Model” was very informative. Erol Kiroğlu from Starcamp analyzed the article extensively reaching many valuable conclusions. “We are trying to work with and make sense of a host of data, which manifests that we have fully entered the age of information. To successfully compete in this age, we need to adapt and predict the everchanging prospects of the future, no matter which sector we come from. This can only be done through collecting as much data possible and analyzing this data with strong methods.” You can’t predict the future on your own in this day an age, the article elaborates. You need predictive models that have a fast and continuous
prediction power that is close to reality. “You are not only competing with yourself in the past but also your competitors.”
According to Erol, “the 20% drop in Facebook’s stocks is not due to the data scandal they experienced, but the unchanged commercial income they announced in the last quarter. This demonstrates the importance of continuous and quick growth. Facebook will inevitably find data-based decisions and increase their commercial income.” Erol stated the conclusion he reached through the article by saying that data comes before everything in this generation in order to make innovative, rational and up to date data-based decisions.
Having left behind a week full of insight and new connections, we are excited to see what the next weeks will bring for the teams.