I was at Ipoh having a meeting when Karu called me and told me that Hamele is selected by MDEC for silicon valley in fusion bootcamp at San Francisco. I was thrilled by the news and luckily with some tight datelines after I came back from Laos, I managed to get my US visa done and San Francisco, here we come.
San Francisco is one of the must visit place if you're in Tech startup and I was so excited that we get to go there and see it ourself what is it like to be SV. After 5 hours flight from KLIA we touched down at Shanghai for our transit to SFO and I must say the queue here is loooong. Can't complain much because of the high population and what make it worse is the fact that most of the popular social networking sites is not available here. That was the worse 6 hours transit we had not to mention internet wasn't working well as well at Starbucks.
We hop on United Airlines and 10 plus hours later we can see the blue sky, carefully constructed building blocks and the land of freedom, MURICA!
Anxious and excited after I touched down, thinking what could I learn from this place and how much this trip will affect me on my startup and my life. All of us stayed at Startup House, a place which provides co-working space and bed for startups. It's a decent place and I would recommend it to every. After all of us settled down we walk around town and got ourselves SIM for data and calls while enjoying the cool weather.
The next day we get down to business with Mark, facilitator for our two weeks Silicon Valley In-Fusion bootcamp. He got us prepared with the details and schedules plus stories. It's a good get to know each other session since all the 5 teams were mere acquaintance before we got on the plane and travel across the pacific ocean.
Most of the time we'll be in classroom listening, learning and absorbing as much as we can from the speakers. All the speakers were great in delivering their message across and they are people that have been there and done it in various industry and field. We even had a yoga session to help us to learn how we can cope with the stress ,pressure and uncertainty of startup life.
We also got the chance to visit wearable world, since IOT is the next big thing we were all excited to be introduced to the founders and also the teams that is currently under their accelerator program such as android fitness games, smart parking, some mini space satellite and much more!
We were lucky to be able to catch up with some of the founders and people here in San Francisco especially the visit to skout's office and also Martin from 500 Startup which gives us insights and how things work over at San Francisco.
Just a few months prior to our trip Skout just to raise over 20 million but despite all that they told how hard is it for them to hang on for a few years before they actually see the results. It's not all pretty and easy as it seems like in the blogs and news portal that we've read.
Sometimes it takes times and timing is everything. You've gotta believe what you're building and push hard. The two founders told us they were working full-time somewhere else while building Skout, ran out of money fire some employees and after some years they finally succeeded.
It is true that at San Francisco you can get free meal and beer all the time. There is so many meetup and sharing session. Just open up Eventbrite, Meetup and you could probably find lots of them! Thumbs up to those that willing to share their experiences and tips. Like they always said we gotta pay it forward.
Another cool stuff at San Francisco would be the food trucks. There's lots of them that provide good fusion and authentic food. There's an app for everything so finding them won't be hard as you could just start the app and locate where they are plus they have gathering at certain areas weekly as well.
The class was tough and we were all trying to absorb as much as we can while looking for networking session to get to know more people and expose ourselves to the unique culture of San Francisco. So it was the same routine classes during the day and meetup during the night time and during the meetup or sharing sessions, people here just ask lots of questions, smart questions as well which seems like they already learn about the speaker and prepared their questions ahead of time.
We got a weekend off so we decided to do some touristy stuff and enjoy the beauty of San Francisco. I wish I had more time to enjoy this beautiful city.
It was a dream come true to be able to visit San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Really thankful and glad that MDEC give us this opportunity to learn, immerse and apply what we got from there. Hopefully we'll be able to improve our startup as well as helping others along the way, what I'm sure is 10 of us will work our socks off and smartly as well with what we've learned.
Hamele ,QSmart, GetDoc, RePark, PetSodia will make it. After going over four airports in 2 days, I can't wait to get home to see my family and friends. On top of that I'll take a good shower, grab a pint and get back to work. Can't wait to see you again San Francisco.