By Katja Kotala, Community Coordinator and Program Manager at Nordic Innovation House
The first week of the month-long accelerator program TINC was guaranteed to meet high expectations. The No-nonsense, get-your-hands-dirty, forget-your-jet-lag mentality kicked off the program with daily workshops, mentor meetings, and networking opportunities.
On Monday the group got to know one another, the mentors, and people at Nordic Innovation House. Nathan Gold was there to help the companies to tell compelling stories of their journey - it is not all about the 3-minute pitch, you really need to be able to create interest in what you do.
A half-day workshop in San Francisco with the amazing Julie Hanna dived deep into the challenges of developing a business. This is an exceptional opportunity for the founders to bring up issues that keep them up at night and get insight from someone so experienced that she was appointed by President Obama as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.
Wednesday was a full day of workshops at Stanford with Aoife Kimber, Kimber PR, on PR and communication, Nir Eyal on Behavioral Design and Sean Percival on marketing. After another full day of one-on-one meetings with mentors and a founders talk with Lasse Andrese, ForgeRock, on Thursday, the participants got to enjoy well deserved refreshments at the networking mixer organized at Nordic Innovation House. Over fifty people gathered to hear what the latest TINC batch has to offer.
Quite amazingly the whole TINC group made it to the last day of the week with great enthusiasm, which was pumped up with high fives by the always energetic Scott Sambucci, SalesQualia. The topic might have had something to do with keeping up the motivation even on Friday - scaling sales is of great interest to all startups. The cherry on top for the first week was a casual afternoon session with one of our mentors Victor Belfor, where the companies could discuss whatever issues the week had brought up.
Below you can read more about what some of the companies are thinking after the first week in Silicon Valley.
Kristina Lagersted and Wilhelm Paulander
Kristina Lagerstedt and Wilhelm Paulander from 1928 Diagnostics are excited to be in Silicon Valley. In addition to the packed schedule, the participating companies have lined up meetings with potential partners and customers already before getting to Silicon Valley.
“We realized that to make the most out of these four weeks we need to be active ourselves."
"The mentors, as well as Åse and Anne, have been great in making introductions with relevant people,” says Kristina. “We will also stay after the program to have more time for meetings.”
Kristina and Wilhelm have been impressed by the mentors, who go out of their way to help the companies get the most out of the program. “The mentors and speakers have been very high quality and the workshops have been very hands on instead of just theoretical.” Wilhelm says.
The participating companies are in different stages and in different fields, but the program is tailored to suit needs that are common to all of them. “I want to learn more about business models and how to scale,” Kristina says. “There’s a lot of great knowledge in Sweden but I think you need to think out of the box. We have a lot to learn and look forward to these remaining weeks.”
1928 Diagnostics’ SaaS is a one system approach for hospitals to trace and diagnose antibiotic resistant bacteria. The SaaS ALEX revolutionizes infection diagnostics by enabling complete diagnosis in hours instead of days or weeks. Read more at www.1928diagnostics.com
Claudio Tiranno and Kari Thor Runarsson
During the first week Claudio has managed to get into the Silicon Valley mindset while at the same time fitting in the daily work he has to do for back home. According to him the program has been improving day to day.
“One of the most valuable things has been the one-on-one meetings with the mentors, that’s something really to get value out of. Direct feedback is very, very helpful, that is what takes you forward and helps you improve your business.”
One of the main goals for Authenteq during TINC is to validate some new ideas. It is already obvious that people in the valley and the US have quite different views compared to people in Europe. “This is very exciting because it is challenging us how to solve these issues for every target market without changing the company core,” Claudio says.
It has also become clear that for locals it is extremely important that the company has presence here.
“We are getting attention from people and companies that are very hard to get in touch with, just because we’re here participating in the program.”
For Claudio it was interesting to see how accurate the stories about US business culture are and he seems to be positively surprised. “I thought that “pay it forward” was just something people say, but it is something that is really done. People actually live this.”
Authenteq eliminates identity fraud and scams online by issuing you a government grade biometric digital passport on your smartphone. The Authenteq ID is kept on the blockchain and only the user has access to it. The user has total control and ownership over his own ID and data.
Read more at www.Authenteq.com