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Silicon Valley Spring 2013
Applications: Mar 17, '13
Sessions: Apr 01, '13 - Jul 09, '13
Our vision is to Globalize Silicon Valley by creating and fostering local startup ecosystems in promising markets across the globe. We aim to help launch 1,000 technology companies per year in over 50 cities worldwide.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the premier legal advisor to technology and growth enterprises worldwide, as well as the investment banks and venture capital firms that finance them. Over the past four decades, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has established its reputation by having an unmatched knowledge of its clients' industries and deep and long-standing contacts throughout the technology sector. The firm's legal expertise serves clients at all stages of growth, from venture-backed start-up companies to multibillion-dollar global enterprises. The firm's clients include some of the most recognized names in the technology, retail, life sciences, venture capital, and finance sectors. The firm has offices in Austin, Palo Alto, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.
First Republic Bank and its subsidiaries provide private banking, private business banking and the full range of wealth management services with an emphasis on exceptional relationship-based service and a solid commitment to responsiveness and action.
Ravix Group - Ravix Group Inc.provides seasoned consulting expertise to outsource the finance, human resources, and facilities functions of early-stage and middle market companies so that management can focus on their priorities to increase the value of their company.
Purplepatch Services is a strategy consulting firm offering technology firms Marketing Communications and User Experience Design solutions.
3 Lessons Learned from the Founder Institute, by Vladimir Blagojevic
Founder Feedback gives you insights from the startup trenches.
On his blog "Be Launched", Vladimir Blagojevic, Founder of Grant Snap and newly minted Graduate of the Brussels Founder Institute, described the three top lessons he learned from the Founder Institute.
The original article can be found here. Below is an excerpt.
"One of the things that makes life so interesting for me is constant learning. And I don’t think I ever learned so much in four months time, as I did during this program.
I’d like to share my top three lessons with you.
1. Feedback really matters.
I got feedback from 26 experienced entrepreneurs, and many, many times from my wonderful peers in the program. Two things really surprised me.
The first one is the effectiveness of the short pitching format. I got to a point of believing the pitch to be a real reflection of the quality of your business idea, and the work you’ve put in it. We were forced to explain the complete business model in 3 minutes. We had to make a compelling story that clearly shows our customer, their problem, our product, market, competition, business model and projections, route to market and our team. And every time you would address one issue, another one would show up.
The second surprise was the effectiveness of mentor feedback. I started out by thinking that the only feedback that really matters is the one from your customers. How will other entrepreneurs, I thought, with little or no knowledge of your domain, ever be able to give you meaningful feedback? It turns out, they can. After hearing your story for three minutes. Especially for the early stage startups that we all are.
Remarks we got weren’t always easy to hear, and many times we were confused about what to do about them. The best remarks required you to dig deeper and work harder on a particular aspect (e.g. product, or the revenue model).
2. You get to choose your market, and choosing early is important.
Our second week’s assignment was to study three potential markets, and choose one with the biggest potential. Desk research of three markets in one week time. This was one of the most useful assignments I had.
I was researching (1) the market of online collaborative writing tools, (2) online project management and collaboration tools (groupware), and (3) the gamification market (not a real market yet). And after looking at the size, dynamics and the major competitors, I decided none of the three were where I wanted to be with my product. So I went on to research the fourth one: a €375 billion grant market.
3. You will make plenty of rookie mistakes as a first-time founder.
I am grateful to the Institute and the mentors for saving me from quite a few. Choosing a wrong market. Targeting the wrong customer segment. Not thinking through agreements between co-founders. Not paying enough attention on branding and naming (or spending too much time on it). Not taking care of legal aspects. And so on and so forth.
I am glad I’ve done it. I would have never been so far in such a short time. At the same time, I am glad it’s over, and I am looking forward focusing on my product.
What are your major lessons or questions about such a program?"
Grant Snap, a service that helps you write winning grant proposals to get your innovations funded, is a Graduate of the Brussels Founder Institute. Follow Vladimir Blagojevic on Twitter at @vladblagi, and Grant Snap at @grantsnap.