Silicon Valley – Week 3

Lots of meetings this week, two of which went very well indeed! Particularly enjoyable was meeting a VC for the first time who I had previously only spoken to by phone. We sat outside at Starbucks off Sand Hill Road enjoying the sunshine at 10am in the morning; it was so hot I had to take off my jacket and sat there in a t-shirt. I love California!

As well as lots of meetings I’ve been attending many networking events in the evening, which this week included on Monday, a Startup Grindmeetup featuring an interview with Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC.

Michael Arrington

The day after I was at Founder Showcase, where as well as a bunch of interesting startups, (my favourites were Xuropa, OpenSignalMaps, Client Magnet and BlueSeed) there was an interview of newly minted VC, Mike Arrington. Unfortunately the emcee couldn’t seem to help himself and didn’t give Arrington the opportunity he deserved to talk. Disappointing.

Then, on Wednesday I was at Founders Den in San Francisco for a discussion sponsored by Second Market about attracting and retaining talent in Silicon Valley. I’m well aware of the challenges of finding engineers here, but even so, was surprised at the lengths recruiters have to go to to find talent. It was said that Google are offering $140,000 base salary and a $40,000 sign on bonus for new Computer Science graduates.

I spent a few days in San Francisco this week, and have grown to really quite like Caltrain, despite it’s shortcomings. I like its single seats, interesting views, and as a Brit, I am amazed at how cheap it is.  Although you don’t quite arrive in the city centre – thanks to Google Maps for Android – I’m quite comfortable travelling across SF on the bus network as well. (Although that’s not such an enjoyable experience).


Finally, on 11/11/11, as well as Veterans Day and Nerd New Year, the Startup Digest crew celebrated their second anniversary. As a former curator I was invited and we had an amazing dinner at one of San Francisco’s best steak restaurants. Chris McCann and Brendan McManus launched Startup Digest just two years ago and since then it has become a must-read curated list of the best startup events worldwide.

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