Four start-ups founded by former employees at Nokia arrived in Silicon Valley to explore the limitless possibilities of the valley – and Innovation Center Denmark led the way.
While Nokia is for the most part leaving Denmark, they are leaving behind great buildings, excellent high-tech equipment and smart employees. They could have been like so many others and got rid of the buildings and left the employees on their own – but they didn’t.
Instead Nokia’s old Development Centre in Copenhagen will transform into Aalborg University Copenhagen’s new Innovation Center and their former employees will have the opportunity to get funding for new start-up ideas.
Four of these start-ups went to Silicon Valley, where Innovation Center Denmark setup for them a very interesting program introducing them to the necessities required to make it in Silicon Valley.
The start-ups where introduced to legal matters by some of the Valley’s most experienced lawyers. They learned how to set up a business in Silicon Valley, what was the correct “way of doing things”, how and how much to pay in taxes, how efficient confidentiality contracts are, how long it takes to start a company, and what the legislation in relation to employees is, etc.
The Innovation Center brought in a number of communication consultants to teach the start-ups the American “way” of pitching and the importance of getting it right, the first time. They learned how to present an idea to a venture capital firm: what they want to know, what they don’t want to know, in what order they want to know it and most importantly, how to ask for money.
They were also introduced to networking facilities and got a glimpse of just how important networking really is in Silicon Valley. They also met other successful start-ups from Denmark who shared their experiences with starting up businesses in Silicon Valley, and much more.
All in just one intense week.
In short they learned that going to Silicon Valley is not as easy as one might think – however, with the right guidance you can overcome the obstacles in no time!