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ubi i/o 2015 day 2

ubi i/o 2015 day 2

Following up on a few hours of needed sleep, our startups had the chance to meet Paul-Francois Fournier, Executive Director of Innovation @Bpifrance.

Paul-Francois shared Bpifrance’s strategy to make the French entrepreneurial ecosystem stronger, especially in Silicon Valley.

France is already leading the VC industry in Europe and has seen a boom of +19% in VC exits last year!

 

 

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However, this dynamic needs to keep going. For Paul-Francois, it can only happen through broader and stronger interconnections between SV ecosystem and the ones located all over the world. This is the reason why Business France’s advisory team has grown familiar with the local VC industry as they will be guiding French startups in tailoring their pitch to approach local VC firms.

France is investing a lot in this strategy, as developing its startup’s business here in the U.S. also helps creating jobs and wealth in France.

Tuesday’s workshop was dedicated to Relationship with Corporate Accounts. Our speakers, Michael Amar, Co-founder and CEO @Ifeelgoods, Inc., Hugo Buret, Head of Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, Commerce @Google, & John McLane, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development @Epicor Software Corp gave our companies advices on how to approach, contact, meet and convert a corporate account from a business or partnership standpoint. This session also tackled pitfalls to avoid and best practices for scaling-up startups.

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Before even thinking of approaching a corporate account, timing must be well planned as it is crucial in order to be efficient. According to Michael Amar, the right time is when you figure out whether your product will have a real use for your prospect or not. “If your product is something which is a nice to have, you’ll wait forever. Yet a startup can’t wait forever”.
It is then time to get in touch with corporate accounts. To do so, the best way to approach them, and anyone in the valley really, is to get introduced. Personal relationships go a long way here!

Once you get introduced to the right person, keep the relationship going. Even in the Valley, people will always be helpful, you simply have to bring something interesting to every person you’re having a meeting with, you have to be specific, use his words.

 

As you will not have dozens of opportunities to meet with corporate accounts, don’t be too protective, According to Michael Amar, the more open minded you are, the best you are. “No company has a monopoly on innovation, you have to be open” added John McLane.

Even when you feel everything went well, don’t expect signing a contract right away. Dealing with a corporate account here in Silicon Valley is all about relationship. And a relationship can last for years before generating any revenue.

Meanwhile, our coaches Page Alloo & Laura Elmore have been giving food for thoughts to our entrepreneurs as they have gone through intense individual and group pitching sessions to get ready for their upcoming pitching events.

Join us next Thursday at the ubi i/o Startup Pitch Night!

Oh, by the way, our startups also have to work on their day to day operations which has been making the atmosphere quite studious here!

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That was ubi i/o day 2 recap, thanks for reading!

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