In mountain view, the headquarters of the Google Empire in Silicon Valley, there is a small Café called "Red Rock". Here are the founders of tech start-ups from their laptops while they eat muffins and coffee sipping – which mark sugar's design of the future, programming or draw logos. Events and networking events are marked on a whiteboard. As I leave the Café, a lady speaks to me: what I do for living? On the answer, I'm a journalist and start-ups in Silicon Valley, write an article about you wish me another good day and rushes off. "She wanted to test just friendly, whether you're an interesting contact professionally for them", explains Martin Sprengseis, Managing Director of BlueSource. Networking is also possible here on LinkedIn how spontaneously on the street.
Sprengseis carries the unit dress of Silicon Valley: T-Shirt, jeans, sunglasses. Founder dress exactly how did the venture capital-givers, which are often survivors of the first Internet bubble and a few billion in the account. Silicon Valley both groups meet each other – the founder need capital-givers (VCs) want it investing money, the venture.
The paths cross, where Sprengseis and other Austrian entrepreneurs have pitched their quarters: In the "plug and play Tech Center" in Sunnyvale, the neighbouring town of mountain view. Here approximately 250 companies sit in one spot, with each one to 50 employees; 30 to 40 companies come from abroad. The atmosphere is anything but romantic, but typically American: in grey "cubicles" everyone is out working, the Windows are darkened, there is only neon light throughout the day. "Sometimes working late into the night and don't realize how much time is it", says Hansjörg Posch, founder of tunesBag. The logos of many companies that a successful "exit" behind it were bought by VCs or corporations have so hang on the walls in the lobby. Including PayPal can be found under many no-names.
Just two have managed startups an exit again – and that is celebrated: when pizza and beer, people meet in a canteen, and a women's mid-40s fueling entrepreneurs: "If you want a hot company, you have a hot product, a hot strategy and hot leadership", she cheer in the microphone and then draws a company with the 'hot company of the week' award from – the equivalent of the "employee of the month" in a country , in which rapidly everything 'awesome' and is "terrific". The "Plug and Play" is more than a cubicle, but an incubator here the founders are aware merged with VCs, and they give each other also feedback and networking. It goes to the pizza on a swimming pool and barbecue in Palo Alto-the Portuguese grills, the Belgian answered, however, mail on the iPad, sitting in the hot tub.
That Austrians make the leap in the center of the IT world, is through the technology initiative "go Silicon Valley" allows the AWO. Once companies have passed the application in Austria, the Chamber financed a workshop, as well as three months of rent and provides support. Started in 2010, in the first year, 20 high potential in the United States were. Currently, five companies use end of June the possibility. "We have many innovative companies in Austria," says Rudolf Thaler, Austrian economic delegate representative in Los Angeles. They occur in the highly competitive market confidence and always emphasize that they are global market leader with their ideas. It's not always easy: "Here a little on ADS suffering," quips Posch. For a VC must fight with about 20 pitches per day, each founder wants to his attention. Success has, who his opposite – convinced in one to two minutes no trace of the Austrian "look ma again and then ma go on coffee". According to Thaler, VCs want to know above all how big the market is, how much the company has, how strong the team is and how much money is needed. Then you get a second date; technical details are secondary: "I've shown here so far only two times my app, so the actual product," says Sprengseis. For this, the feedback is tough and direct, but useful: business ideas are tested thoroughly. "Who can present here, can it everywhere", includes Thaler.
Some are but not on VC-hunting: the Carinthian Silke Telsnig and Emanuel Pirker of Stratodesk want to build first a market before it is foreign capital in their company can be also the Valley is more appropriate than the homely Klagenfurt.
This post appeared in 2011 in the "WirtschaftsBlatt", the former employer of the author.
The plug and play, outside view.
So romantic it looks inside.
Martin Sprengseis and Hansjörg Posch
Silke Telsnig and Emanuel Pirker
The Café, in which so many story begins
This advertisement for Firefox at the train station in San Francisco fits like the fist on it Aug'.