The EIT Digital Silicon Valley hub is in downtown San Francisco at RocketSpace, which can best be described as an accelerator for high-growth, seed-funded tech startups. They provide the fuel that every startup needs to accelerate: access to top talent, tier 1 venture capital, and blue-chip brands representing millions of users. Exactly! a fruitful basis for collaboration.
The hub is to create a true two-way bridge between the European EIT Digital's ecosystem and the Bay Area ecosystem. It wants to strengthen the European ecosystem via the inflow of ideas, talents, students, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology, start-ups, and investments, with activities clustered around innovation & entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial education.
EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker stated in a Horizon 2020 publication on European ecosystems: “There is no disputing that Silicon Valley is the innovation hotspot of the world. We need to be connected and our hub in Silicon Valley is a connection. We are not going to build a co-location centre and copy what we are doing in Europe, but instead build a bridge.” That his message has been spread showed out as the local government of the Dutch city Eindhoven decided to pit-stop at our hub during a trade mission to Silicon Valley, last summer. After contacting, Patrick Essers, the Node Director EIT Digital the Netherlands, the pit-stop turned into a visit programme to touch base with the Mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel.
Eindhoven meets and greets the Silicon Valley Hub
The goal of the visit of the Eindhoven delegation, was to get familiar with EIT Digital operations in the San Francisco Bay Area; focused on young European companies and their needs. The German startup HoloBuilder, an example of EIT Digital Accelerator coached companies, currently expanding their business in US was present to also give their views. Their COO Christian Claus was informative on differences between European national accelerators and local US-based accelerators.
Marko Turpeinen said: “We coordinate our actions in close collaboration with our European partners that already have connections to the Bay Area. It is equally important for us to collaborate with the local consulates of European countries, through our consulate liaison programme. We have the goal of interconnecting and complementing national efforts to provide more value for everyone. Therefore we work closely with national representatives in the Bay Area including the Dutch Consulate; Robert Thijssen from the Dutch Consulate was also present in the meeting.”
The visitors also met with Duncan Logan, CEO of RocketSpace, who explained what were the critical factors for them to become one of the most trusted accelerators in Silicon Valley, what are the potential business models for accelerators, and what kind of internationalisation plans RocketSpace has. One new model RocketSpace explores is, that they would launch and coordinate a vertical accelerator programme jointly with several industry players and universities.
The feedback of the Dutch delegates was that there should be more Dutch input and engagement in the Silicon Valley Hub. That, next to the attention for startups in Health and Wellbeing, there also should be emphasize on the Dutch strengths in Smart Cities and manufacturing. Of course very challenging and worth it to work on.
Mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel says on his recently visit to the EIT Digital Silicon Valley hub: “The choice for RocketSpace gives EIT Digital access to a well-established and succesfull accelerator. And after talking to the director of the EIT Digital Silicon Valley hub, Marko Turpeinen, and the EIT start-ups over there, I truly believe that they can become a two- way bridge between the European EIT Digital ecosystem and the bay area eco-system.”
The Silicon Valley hub is in downtown San Francisco at RocketSpace (180 Sansome Street), and it can and should be used by EIT Digital partners. The person to contact is Aparna Sain.