Sunday, March 13, 2011

Second week at Mind the Bridge Gym - Highlights

The second week at Mind the Bridge Gym has gone!

Although our 10 startups are sleeping just a few hours every day - they're trying to be aligned both with the Italian and with the Silicon Valley time zones to manage their business operations in the two areas - they seem to have an endless energy!
After a first week of "orientation", their second week was pretty intense and full of meetings with potential partners and customers, networking events and seminars from Mind the Bridge Gym Education program - Presentation skills, Business Development and Corporate Operations in Silicon Valley.

Here the main highlights!

Presentation skills. On Wednesday 9th Elisabetta Ghisini gave our startups useful suggestions on how to make an effective pitch. It's probably true that experience and practice help you a lot, but there are yet some key points that everybody should keep in mind for a good presentation. Share your energy and your passion with the audience is one of those.

Business development. On Thursday 10th Matteo Fabiano shared interesting thoughts on how to develop the business model. Talking about partnerships, when you realize which would be your best partner, even if it's a big company, don't be afraid to negotiate with them deciding to go to the second choice partner instead - there are two reasons: first, the time you will spend to negotiate the partnership it's more or less the same, second, if you go to the second choice your competitor will go the best choice using you as case study!

Corporate operations in SV. On Friday 11th Matteo Daste talked about technology transfer models, exit strategies, cap tables, term sheets and valuation. An important aspect that came out of the discussion is that in Italy the valuation relies mostly on the past and expected revenues probably because having customers is one of the few ways to assure revenues to the investors due to the limited numbers of exits, M&A and IPOs, that occur in Italy.
In SV instead the valuation is determined by several other factors as portfolio of IPs, background and track record of the team, other investors involved etc. - if you have an interesting patent a company may be extremely interested in the acquisition of your startup and investors know that!

MopApp presenting to SFBeta. On Wednesday 9th Alessandro Rizzoli presented his startup at SFBeta, San Francisco's largest and longest running sturtup mixer, at the session Maximize Mobile Apps receiving very good feedbacks.

First session startups presentation. On Friday 11th we had the first session of startups presentations. Risparmiosuper, Xapio and Smania presented their business in front of their mentors and other people within MTB network receiving useful feedbacks to improve their final presentation.

Mind the Golden Gate Bridge! Saturday some of the startups decided to ride on their bike till the Golden Gate Bridge, that was quite an adventure for them - it took five hours to arrive there with a few technical stops during the journey! But they made it and after arriving to the bridge, well the view was breathless!

Stay tuned because the third week seems is going to be even more exciting!

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