End of February rhymes, since already 15 years, with time to apply to the Venture Leaders program! If you’re (relatively) new on the startup scene, you may wonder what it means: simply said, you have the opportunity to get selected in the Swiss Startup National Team of 2016!
I had the chance to participate in 2014 with my company (you can discover my posts about the 2014 and 2015 teams) and I can only hugely recommend it to every entrepreneur. More than a “simple” business development program, it’s also a personal development trip where you’ll learn a lot, which will help you to improve as an entrepreneur. For your current venture or the following ones (an entrepreneur never stops, right ;-)?).
In 2014, we went first 8 days to Boston, followed by 2 days in New York. Since this year, venturelab is splitting the 20 selected entrepreneurs in 2 groups:
- a group of 10 entrepreneurs (mostly active in life sciences) going 10 days to Boston
- the second group of 10 entrepreneurs (mostly active in technology, meaning fintech, media, software industries) will spend 10 days in New York exclusively
I think it’s a very, very good idea… If you’re a fintech (since one year, no need anymore to explain its meaning in Switzerland!) or a media startup, going Boston is great, but probably less effective than going NYC. New York is one of the top3 financial hubs in the world (with London and… Switzerland) and probably the #1 center for the media industry and where you will find all the big brands. But of course, going only NYC will make you miss the traditional trip to Newport (to eat some lobsters with Jordi and Beat)…
Personally, my 2 days as a Venture Leader in NYC were probably the most effective ones. From visiting a company like tumblr (which I used at this time to power startupolic.com!) to visiting betaworks, or attending some very cool events, the program better fitted software startups. Of course, you can also arrange your own meetings, but 2 days are short… I’ve succeeded to meet the Head of Marketing of 300 Entertainment (which was “just” beginning at this time and growing fast), but unfortunately missed the opportunity to meet the manager of the famous hip hop band Wu-Tang Clan (he was late and I was already heading back to airport…). While also meeting some startups which were active in the same industry as we were.
New York gives you a great sense of what the USA can be for your startup: HUGE, GOING FAST and multiplied OPPORTUNITIES. At least in my humble opinion!
So, what are you waiting for to apply?
And finally, to come back to this post’s title… here’s a song I like (and that may remember you souvenirs from the 90’s): GO WEST, from Pet Shop Boys (even if the context here is completely different ;-)!).