Trip to Seattle and Silicon Valley


I’ve been away for the past 2 weeks to the states, and I’ve been away from this blog since January, too busy with my start-up SambaStream to concentrate on it properly! In case you were wondering you can read some blogs I’ve been doing for SambaStream here:

The trip to the states was excellent! I’ve heard it before, but I had to see it for myself to believe it, the attitude to business and entrepreneurship in the states is amazing! I’ve been networking the past year in London, and to date, I haven’t met many start-ups or entrepreneurs that are as impressive, and more importantly, as approachable, as the people I met in only 2 weeks in the US!

To give you an example, our first stop was in Seattle, for the NetHope summit in Microsoft’s headquarters. 2 days before we flew out, Clarence my colleague, showed me a video demonstration of a cool start-up called Gist. I’d never heard of them, but when we saw they were in Seattle, we thought what the hell and decided to email them to see if we could come around their offices. Within 10 minutes, we had a reply from the CEO T.A. McCann, who had never heard of us but was happy to meet, so we met up on the Monday morning. Through my friend Sri, who lives in Seattle, we also met some other great people like Kabir Shahani, CEO of another SaaS start-up called Appature and a very cool fund manager and VC called Ken Kamada. All of them took the time to meet with us and talk about our business, and more importantly give us genuinely useful advice.

We then went on to San Francisco where we met up with Demian Entrekin, CTO of another SaaS company, Innotas, and Luis Sala, Product Manager at Alfresco. Demian had never heard of us either, but was happy to meet for us even though we got lost in San Francisco and turned up 30 minutes late!

These were the main people, we met many others on our trip, but all of them displayed the same level of openness and approachability, and were full of great advice for our company. In all my time networking in London, I haven’t met many people as impressive as the ones I met on the trip, who really understand our space and are willing to share good advice. It really goes to show why a lot of companies are moving to the US, and doing successfully out there, and the UK has much to learn from them.

While one day I may very well move out there, for now I’m happy to stay in London and see what we can do here, its not all bad in the UK for high-tech start-ups like ours, but it definitely isn’t as easy as it is in the states. Hopefully one day we’ll catch up, and there are a few start-ups like ours that are making moves to take the UK to the next level!