Week five of the Aalto Startup Sauna was spent in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Selected Sauna teams had a chance to visit VCs, network with partners, and in general inhale the startup way of living.
Mobile Brain Bank met with a number of possible investors, namely BlueRun Ventures, Sigma Partners, DFJ, and Altos. The feedback from these, as well as other senior industry professionals was that we have a good business case and are entering the market in exactly the right time. A lawyer speaking to our group spontaneously said in his opening speech, that ”If you’re doing development outsourcing here you will be hugely successful”. The same message was repeated by Stanford and Berkeley professors that I talked to. I wouldn’t want to argue with lawyers or professors
Josh from Sigma partners also happened to be the fourth employee at Odesk, which is one of the companies that we’ve benchmarked for Mobile Brain Bank. He was able to give me a lot of good insight and guidance on how to take those first steps in a crowdsourcing service.
The week was a lot of work, busy schedules, driving from one location to another, writing reports, and following up. But it was also fun. On Tuesday we attended a BBQ party at the Black Box Mansion and met a lot of startups who had been either living or working there for some time. And on Friday, we had our grand closure for the week, the Startup Sauna mini-demo day for SV audience. The room was packed with well over 100 San Francisco based startup and mobile people, including a few good leads for our company.
Other cool experiences were attending a Microsoft event, visiting the HQ of Startup Digest – another ”mansion” with guys living and working in the same house, one Lean Startup event, visiting Rocket Space and Bootstrap Labs, attending AppNation, saying hi to Nokia CTO Henry Tirri, visiting YouTube, and of course sharing contacts and leads with the other Startup Sauna teams. They’re a good bunch.