Joining StartersHub Istanbul as a mentor & advisor

So pleased to share that I've joined StartersHub as a mentor and adviser.

Based in Istanbul, StartersHub is a world-class entrepreneurship platform acting as a catalyst in Turkey and the EMEA region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. StartersHub offers startups funding, mentorship, networking and strategic partnership support as well as an inspiring work place at the heart of Istanbul's business district.

StartersHub also runs industry-specific programs with strategic partners in Financial Technologies, Gaming, Life Sciences, Internet of Things and Big Data. 

A few photos from my quick trip to Istanbul and the StartersHub office this summer:

Judging at the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Summer 2017

It was so much fun to mentor & judge the tech startups at Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMOE) at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. 120 global participants gathered at UC Berkeley for a one week immersive experience into entrepreneurship, team-building, mentorship, and more.

Here's the team I & my fellow judge chose as the winner of our 40-person cohort: BrainyT, an AI-for-manufacturing going to market in Brazil.

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I also ran into familiar faces from last month's extreme accelerator in Europe, the European Innovation Academy #eia2017italy: participant & UCB student Bailey Farren, and fellow EIA chief mentors UCB faculty Stephen Torres and Pamela Day, who also was a judge at BMOE!

Looking forward to Harika Kalluri's upcoming interview with me and Pamela for the Berkeley Point Of View. We yakked Harika's ear off about tech investing, product building, and the empowering spirit of entrepreneurship.

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A few snaps from some of the seven venture pitches my fellow judge Kal Deutsch (managing partner and founding investor of The Batchery, a Bay Area-based global incubator for seed stage startups) and I judged.

Good job to these teams from Berkeley, Denmark, Brazil & Hong Kong:

  • BrainyT, the AI for small manufacturers
  • SoWa the wireless professional speakers
  • A Slice of Reality interactive media system
  • the ed-tech play for lesson plans Athena
  • CoffeeX, a connected coffee kiosk
  • Candle Sense electric candle for memory boosting
  • LedoAds, the marketplace for space ads

Thanks to UCBerkeley's entrepreneurship faculty Gigi Wang, the director of BMOE, for including me in her awesome program!

Photo: Gigi Wang

Photo: Gigi Wang

Congrats to BrainyT for making it into the top 3 startups at BMOE Summer 2017!

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Thanks to Harika Kalluri for the interview! You can read it at the Sutardja Center site here.

In the Winner's Circle: 50% of my teams won the 2017 European Innovation Academy, Italy

(To my teams: you are all stars!!)

Giving my Day 7 keynote in Turin, on how to build revenue-producing and meaningful community. "Find why your first users are invested and then deliver on their motivations," was among my recommendations to the participants of Europe's largest extreme accelerator

It was my pleasure to be the chief mentor to six start up teams in the Gaming, Media & Entertainment sector at the European Innovation Academy last month in Turin, Italy.

For ten foundational days, I guided 30 participants through team and business building before additional specialist mentors joined us to take them to pitch their startups to Silicon Valley and global investors. 

Out of 95 total teams, 4 of my teams progressed to the Pitching Carousel of 40 teams which presented to venture capitalists

  • Sympha, a creative exchange for the indie music community
  • aLive, a realtime nightlife promotion platform
  • ARCatalogs, an augmented reality play for restaurants
  • Kumpa, a gamification app that turns exercise into social workouts

3 of my teams then made it into the Top 10 winner's circle. You can read the Italian press on the winners.

So, 5 of my 6 teams made it to the final rounds of the program. That means 83% of our cohort 'showed' in the final rounds of the program.  This is a stupendous achievement, congratulations to all of you!

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This is Kumpa, a sports gamification start-up that transforms your favorite games into fun and social workouts.

Shout out to these international mentors who also worked with my cohort on: marketing (Americans Jesse Leimgruber, PJ Leimgruber, and Italian Francesco Fiume), IT (Polish Bartek Jazwinski), and design (Estonian Tanel Eero), and, team dynamics (Italian Claudia Chiavarino). Also, thanks to Federico Mammano, my fellow chief mentor in the other Gaming, Media, and Entertainment cohort, for his pitching challenges and AR expertise! 

This is ARCatalogs which makes augmented reality menus for restaurants.

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This is aLive, a nightlife platform where users can see and share what's happening around them in real time, leveraging the power of influencers. aLive made it to the Pitching Carousel round.

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Here's BidCar, my sixth team, which was building a blind auction for car sales. Chief Business Officer Miguel Valdez delivered a 1 minute story-based pitch on Day 6 in front of another gaming, media, entertainment cohort and our design and IT mentors watching, on the right:

For your accomplishments in team building and business building, congrats to the winners, the carousel pitchers, all the teams of the Gaming, Media, and Entertainment cohorts, and all the teams of EIA Turin 2017. It was fun mentoring you and I look forward to seeing what you do next!

 

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Joining Silicon Valley Jumpstart Program As A Mentor

Excited to join JUMPSTART PROGRAM as a mentor in this startup event produced by the Silicon Valley Forum and Wasabi Ventures Global.

You may recall I've already had the pleasure of working with Wasabi principal Jeff Abbott as a chief mentor for two summers at the European Innovation Academy. I'm looking forward to contributing to his new intensive program.

Launching in fall of 2017, this 6-day hands-on experience is designed for international startups and scaleups seeking to enter the US market. It will address technology, organization, cultural differences, marketing & sales, financing, and more.

It's for you if:

  • You want to develop and refine your scaling strategy
  • You believe you’re ready to enter the US market
  • You want to broaden your network of potential customers, mentors, partners and investors in the US
  • You want to jumpstart your efforts and make 6 months of progress in one week
  • You want to have a clear plan before investing time and precious resources in developing a US presence via unfocused experimentation
  • You’re ready to have an intense, action-packed week in Silicon Valley and make friends for life with other founders facing similar challenges 

September 5th is the last day to apply!

 

Joining ITUGate as a mentor

Happy to join the global mentors of Istanbul Technical University's International Start-Up Acceleration Program ITUGATE. During their six month stay in San Francisco this year, I'll be mentoring a set of technology-producing companies and entrepreneurs entering the US & international markets.

Read more about ITU ARI Teknokent's program to help companies to enter the US market and to provide access to Silicon Valley. It's based at Galvanize, one of the best startup centers in San Francisco. 

Back at The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp!

Great experience mentoring and judging the pitches of student entrepreneurs from around the world at this week's bootcamp on the UC Berkeley campus!

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Here's the director of the program Gigi Wang laying out the goals of the bootcamp.

 

Congratulations to Acuity, the team I mentored and my cojudge Rick Rasmussen and I sent to the finals.

 

Watch the pitch battle here: https://www.facebook.com/UCBerkeleyCET/videos/1232326256848097/

The Berkeley Method Bootcamp: Mentor & Pitch Judge

This was one of the startups I judged at The Berkeley Method Bootcamp, Fall 2016, UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology -- and the team our room sent to the finals.

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Featured in a video interview for BMOE, talking about the issues of early stage startups.

Featured in a video interview for BMOE, talking about the issues of early stage startups.