If someone had told me three months ago that I would travel to the US and visit Stanford, the Singularity University, varies Start-Ups and Tech-Companies I’d probably would have laughed at him for at least 10 minutes. This said, I still couldn’t really believe it when we entered the Stanford Campus today.
Stanford is everything you heard about and even more. I do understand pretty well now why this is a dream for many students. The strong bond between Silicon Valley and the students is only one of many benefits. You can literally feel the drive to create and change something and also how passionate everyone is. Looking down from the tower and overseeing the campus, this is a microcosmos where you may pursue your idea and where objects like the first Google Server remind you of how much is possible in this world. Tim, who graduated just 2 weeks ago was so kind to show as around and the possibility to talk to someone who had actually been studying there for over four years made this first stop a perfect kick-off!
After grabbing some souvenirs at the Stanford Bookstore (which is more of a gift shop where you can spend hours and yes I am completely guilty) we then went to PlugandPlay . You might have heard of it before in association with Axel Springer, but as I found out today this is only a small part of what belongs to this company. Originally founded by Saeed Amidi who is described as the matchmaker of Silicon Valley, it brings together Start-Ups and Global Players to work on technologies which solve problems or enhance our daily life. In one year PlugandPlay screens around 19.000 Start-Ups that might end up working in a pilot with a well-known company such as HP. We were lucky to learn and talk a lot about Start-Ups, current trends, future trends and cultural differences. I personally feel as if German companies need to open up and focus more on the idea to gain something by sharing knowledge and best practices than the fear of telling a competitor something he might use to have a competitive advantage. Also the ability to accept failure and see it as an mayor key factor to become successful is something we need to adapt from other mentalities – we might fail but in the end we’ll go so much further than if we don’t even try.
Today has been an amazing start for this 5-Day-Tour we will be doing and I feel so overwhelmed and inspired that I may not be able to fall asleep straightaway because there are so many different thoughts in my head right now. But I am already so excited for tomorrow and you may read about it afterwards!