CEED Global brings entrepreneurs to the Valley
San Francisco, CA CEED Global led its second tech envoy to Silicon Valley and San Francisco from June 6-10. The purpose of the envoy was to introduce high potential CEED entrepreneurs to industry leaders in the tech industry and also meet with those who invest in them.
CEED Global Club members running established global companies joined the envoy in order to learn about potential opportunities in the Bay Area as well as getting insights from tech professionals about how they run their companies.
Joining the envoy were also selected entrepreneurs who were part of CEED Armenia that international and domestic investors thought to have the highest potential for getting investment or early customer traction in the U.S. market.
During the envoy CEED entrepreneurs met with industry professionals from Airbnb, Jumpshot, Zillow, Malwarebytes, Galvanize, Square, Salesforce, Stanford University and Facebook. Speakers talked about their organizations’ strategies for growth, thoughts about machine learning and big data, and the importance of leveraging analytics both quantitative and qualitative at all stages of the businesses. Allison Bransfield VP of Business Operations and Performance Marketing talked about the importance of knowing your customer and understanding their needs. This message was reiterated by almost all of the speakers who shared stories about what this meant for their company. Thomson Nguyen, Founder and CEO of Framed, a data analytics company acquired by Square Capital, talked about the importance of being humble and not thinking you are above going door to door or making cold calls to get in front of customers. This mentality got him accepted into YCombinator and helped him raise venture capital from some of the most well known VCs in Silicon Valley before getting acquired by Square. The Founder and CEO of Malwarebytes, Marcin Kleczynski, shared what he focuses on as the company is expanding to new markets and growing in number of employees.
In addition to meeting with industry professional, CEED entrepreneurs met with investors ranging from angel investors to venture capitalists to growth stage series B equity investors. Many of the entrepreneurs were able to get feedback about their companies while learning about what investors look for when meeting with entrepreneurs. For earlier stage investors like, Dan Bragiel of Bragiel Bros., good chemistry with the entrepreneur and a strong team is critical. For others, like Joel Ayala from Lumia Capital, a growth stage fund, a strong team is a must but traction, revenue, and potential to scale is much more important.
On the final day of the envoy, CEED Global hosted a pitch session which was attended by three dynamic investors from the Valley, Trevor Thomas, Partner of Cross Culture Ventures, Joseph Huang Founder of WifiSLAM which was acquired by Apple and an alumni of StartX Stanford University’s accelerator, and Ahmad Takatkah, of Azam Ventures. 6 entrepreneurs pitched their businesses and got feedback from the investors about potential ways forward and thoughts about who may be interested in learning more.
During their visit to Silicon Valley and San Francisco the entrepreneurs learned about the culture of companies in the Bay Area, got feedback about their companies, and were able to network with industry leaders and investors. According to one envoy member, Nebil Ben Aissa, Founder and CEO of Nexxus Pay Network “..my Silicon Valley CEED trip was life changing and inspiring, we met with several entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and executives from different companies with different cultures at different growth stages. This was very enlightening and inspiring to me; it also gave me a very clear overview of the Silicon Valley ecosystem and what I need to do in case I wanted to partner or have my company be part of such landscape…”