Recently I've signed up for one more adventure before moving to the U.S. What could be even more exciting than the New York City? Yes, San Francisco! And yes x2: Silicon Valley!
My good friend Niki Ernst runs Silicon Valley Inspiration Tours, 5-day programs where participants are introduced to this hyper exciting ecosystem of disruptive innovation and vibrant entrepreneurship. Participants come from all over the place.
Last time I've been part of such tour in November we were 10 people from Austria, Lithuania and even Siberia to explore Stanford University, Singularity University, Apple, Nasa Research Park, Autodesk and many other cool places.
This time I'm joining as one of the hosts, and we're planning a food week.
You could think: what such a fundamental and basic topic as food could have in common with such a global melting point of technology as Silicon Valley? A LOT.
There are so many startups now focusing on food innovation, big companies having their own food labs and best kitchens in the world (hello Google and Apple), most talented chefs working in the area... and we're going to have a chance to experience all of it.
These are few of the hotspots on the list:
La Cocina Street Food Festival & La Cocina itself: a space focusing on low income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable comemrcial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities
Nestle & IDEO food labs (because how could you miss those)
Feeding Forward: a company determined to end hunger and food waste within our lifetimes.
KptnCook: startup helping people solve the question we ask ourselves every day "What should I cook for dinner?"
Chirp: America's first producer of sustainably grown, edible insects
Bitty Foods: startup making "delicious food out of cricket flour" (really really curious about it)
Napa Valley (another must visit for the whole day)
Among many many more. You can see full company list here.
Why is it worth joining?
Being foody myself, you can imagine how excited I am to not only co-host such an event but to also take part myself.
It is also very exciting to experience the ecosystem of what is San Francisco and Silicon Valley in particular.
As Niki says:
"The Silicon Valley Inspiration Tours are two fold program: one element is to introduce participants to some of the most exciting organizations in their industry and listen/learn from their stories.
Another part has a strong focus on participants themselves and how program can contribute to your professional life: introduce you to inspiring people in the Silicon Valley, ignite new conversations, arm you with methodologies and cultural gamechanging ideas and even mock up your public speaking skills - if speaking in front of an audience is something you do more often than you would enjoy."
I really made few lasting connections last November and event signed few speakers for the upcoming conferences in Lithuania (names will be announced soon).
More info on the tour: http://bit.ly/1QwACcH Shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up call for more details. And let me know if you know somebody that would be interested!