Article appears in SAP Startup Focus Newsletter – Issue 2
The Startup Focus LENS (Local Executive Networking Series) was designed to bring together influential leaders from local startup accelerators, incubators, universities, government organizations and corporate entities to facilitate an industry-wide dialog about the state, trends, challenges and the future of startups and Big Data. In reality, the 90 minute inaugural Palo Alto LENS on February 7th far exceeded expectations.
In attendance were leaders from notable Bay Area startup organizations like Silicon Valley Forum, Berkeley Skydeck, Astia, Innovation Center Denmark, Startup Grind, YouNoodle, IDA Singapore and many, many more. What proceeded was a very passionate and personal exchanged of ideas, feelings and concerns about startup business drivers, responsibilities, economic conditions and potential peril of the entire ecosystem.
The evening was filled with countless thought-provoking quotes from notable luminaries:
“The best years of The Valley are behind us.”
“All the flipping out there really makes me sick to my stomach.”
“A lot of startups do want invest in more philanthropic efforts, but then there’s the ROI.”
“And then there’s the question of which problem do we elect to solve?”
“The ecosystem is so out of balance – and I don’t see it getter better in the near future. “
“What’s the right environment for success and balance? I don’t think we know that, and I don’t think it’s gonna be found in The Valley.”
“There are big world problems we need to be looking at – the planet, women’s rights. And what’s the VC’s role in that? I think we can’t rely on the VCs. We need to rely on each other, and we need to leverage other resources.”
“It’s just a matter of how you personally define success; that will influence the way you do business.”
The inaugural LENS was so valuable and insightful that it will influence all other LENS’ globally, as well as our larger scale events. We look forward to rolling out our quarterly Local Executive Networking Series in the following locations: NYC, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Austin, London, Berlin, Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Toronto and Vancouver
Startup Focus LENS Contact information:
Senior Manager of Global Market Enablement for Startup Focus at SAP