Last week we have participated in the Acceleration Program in Silicon Valley, organized by Swisscom Startup. Words cannot describe how this experience has been valuable for our business and on the human side, but I will give it a try!
Moving to a new country and understanding how things work, developing a network of contacts, adapting to new environments and managing to survive could really take a lot of time. Trust me, as an Italian that moved to Switzerland 13 years ago, it took me at least 2 years to fully understand this country. Now, as the time to extend our business to California is approaching, this program allowed us to skip this long adaptation phase. We could decipher the country, develop a network of important contacts and open “impossible” doors just in one single week! This is simply incredible but it is not all.
It has been a week full of surprises on the human side as well. Not only sharing our experience with other startup founders and startup coaches has been intense and valuable, but being in close contact with Swisscom Management and Swisscom Outpost team in California has been an unbelievably enriching experience. Everybody was motivated to give their maximum and the atmosphere was always full of energy. Correct me if I am wrong but Swiss people stereotype is being cold, right? Well, I think it should be updated to “warm people with the heart in their hands”.
So, what is this “Swisscom Outpost” about? It is a carefully selected team of people based in Palo Alto, actively following how Silicon Valley new technologies and business trends are going to change the way we live and advise Swisscom mothership in Switzerland accordingly. Change, aka “adapt or you are dead”, is something that nowadays is crucial, especially for big companies, as these can implement changes only at a slower pace. I was really amazed to see how Swisscom is exploring and anticipating in order to cope faster with new trends. Innovation flows in the veins of the blue giant, which is definitely not only a communication company but an innovation leader in the country of innovators. The Swisscom Outpost is, therefore, the Swisscom innovation tip-of-the-iceberg right in the middle of the Silicon Valley.
So, thank you all for the incredible experience, the warm welcoming and the human connection we could establish. If you are a startup founder and you are reading this, I warmly advise you to apply for this program next year!
Photo credit @Cyril Mugglin