The Silicon Valley Open Doors Conference (SVOD) was a gathering of different sects of the same religion: technological innovation.
Unleashing a pool of creativity, SVOD hosted more than 650 talents from all over the world, including Russia, Ukraine, New Zealand, France, China , Australia, and Israel. Speakers from top financial and technological institutions, investors, and entrepreneurs gathered at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA on June 11th and 12th to participate in and bear witness to presentations, discussions, inspiration, and advice.
Startups entering the market are competing against companies like Google and Salesforce. Presenting key-note speakers and live interviews with successful investors such as George Zachary, Managing Partner of Charles River Ventures and member of the Midas List, SVOD provided a space for strategic discussion between emerging startups and prosperous companies. When asked what the best advice Alexander Lupachev, Partner with Siguler Guff and an on-stage judge of Thursday’s second round of start up pitches, could offer to entrepreneurs, he commented that the most important aspect of getting your startup off the ground and running is to build connections. Once you do that, you can “consider [that] half of your job is done.” Lupachev, a top investor, sat on a panel with Alfred Lin, Partner of Sequoia Capital, and Manu Kumar, Founding Partner of K9 Ventures, as startup leaders stood one at a time and presented their innovations in five to ten minutes. Everything from electric car chargers to online education was pitched to a front row of 13 investors as an auditorium of people seated at round tables looked on.
In addition to the five rounds of start-up pitches, a key aspect of SVOD included a room of startup Founders, CEOs, and Representatives who spoke one-on-one about their innovations with interested parties. According to Eugen Cozonac, Founder and CEO of Firstly, an online platform that allows for secure exchanges of information, pitching to and receiving comments from potential clients and investors keeps innovation alive.
With a smile on her face, Yana Sikorsky, entrepreneur and first-time attendant of SVOD, described the conference as “invigorating” and a sneak peak into the direction of technology’s future. Although Sikorsky’s own business ventures differ from many of the startups presenting, listening to and networking with others in her field was a chance to learn from the mistakes she need not make.
Author: Aleksandra Bril