It's hard to believe I've only been in San Francisco for a few days, here's a snapshot of what's been going on.
Bagels eaten: 3
Straight hours spent pitching OutTrippin: 11
Sailing races witnessed: 4
Times I've been asked out on a date: 7
Day 1 & 2: Sailing, Sun and SOMA
Saturday and Sunday involved many sunshine-filled hours down on Pier 29 watching Team NZ take-down Team USA. (Despite the cheating!) Coming straight from a Melbourne winter, my skin took on a strawberry glow and I'm proud to report I've added sailing terms like jiving and grinding to my vocab. I'm staying in an awesome apartment in SOMA with 3 lovely females in the tech scene. There's a lot of tech dudes in San Francisco so it's been great meeting other women having success in this eco-system.
A bike valet and historic street cars ran especially for the America's Cup event.
That night we were invited to a rooftop Aussie BBQ with past AngelCube participants App.io. This meant we got to appreciate the stunning SF skyline while enjoying a few shrimps on the BBQ and meeting other entrepreneurs, tech folks and investors.
There's a growing network of Australians over here as the Aussie Mafia group attests. This is good news for us because the currency of Silicon Valley is networks. For entrepreneurs the best way to arrange a meeting with a venture capital firm is through a warm introduction.
Day 3: Selling Hope in Startup Alley
Next up was TechCrunch Disrupt, a 3-day conference where people gather to geek-out and immerse themselves into the Silicon Valley startup scene.
Our conference ticket bought us a booth in startup alley with 160ish startup companies from all over the world. The objective is simple, relentlessly pitch your biz for 11 hours straight to any investor, early adopter or tech enthusiast who will listen. It was an intense but incredibly rewarding experience and I can officially say I've got the elevator pitch DOWN.
Our OutTrippin stand in Startup Alley and Kunal being interviewed for Al Jazeera TV.
To paint a picture of what it's like, imagine a dog-show with proud owners and their pampered pooches or a car show where enthusiastic car-nuts are stroking their engined babies.
These businesses are very much in their infancy, and their owners are protective and blind to their flaws.I spoke to a guy in his 60s who told me the reason he comes to events like this is because of the energy.
He motioned to startup alley and asked me, 'Do you know what this is?' With a twinkle in his eye he answered his own question with, 'This is what hope looks like.'
We all know statistically that most startups will fail but they are all passionate about the problem they're solving and hopeful they'll be successful.
Here's an article written about us from the event:
Every night they have an after party at a club with an open bar and our Aussie counterparts got a little excited at what this represented. Many shots of tequila later the sausage-fest party wrapped up and there were some sore heads the following day.
Day 4: BattleField, Travel Massive & Bus Karaoke
Running alongside startup alley is the Startup BattleField competition. About 30 hopeful founders and entrepreneurs give their young, unseen startup companies the opportunity to launch on technology’s biggest stage in front of an all-star panel consisting of the biggest innovators, angels, VCs and influencers in the Tech community. Up for grabs is the $50,000 prize and the coveted “Disrupt Cup,” a wealth of press exposure and new open doors. They pitch onstage and answer questions from the expert panel.
I also got to watch lots of interesting discussions and presentations from industry gurus like Evan Spiegel (Snapchat) Dick Costolo (Twitter) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn)
I bounced from one event to another and managed to attend the San Francisco version of Travel Massive. These meetups happen in 32 cities around the world and help thousands of people meet, learn, and collaborate in the online travel industry. I met a few interesting peeps here including the guys from Tortuga Backpacks who solve the suitcase v backpack dilemma with a seriously cool bag that you can take as carry on luggage. The meetup was held in Berkeley and sponsored on the penthouse level of GoOverseas.
Another night, another party and this time we ended up on a Karaoke bus where Kunal performed a passionate rendition of the Ramones.. I wanna be sedated.
I'm super pumped for tomorrow where we get to hear from Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!) and of course the rockstar of startups Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).