Learnings from Silicon Valley – Rochester-Bern innovation journey

Learnings from Silicon Valley – Rochester-Bern innovation journey

Fri Aug 04 15:45:00 CEST 2017

During the Rochester-Bern innovation journey, our alumni and students visited several companies as well as entrepreneurs and experienced the “Silicon-Valley-spirit”. Following some of the learnings:


The Silicon Valley – respectively the Bay Area – is home to several companies with immense global presence. Many companies exploit the innovative climate to develop new products. Different factors feature the success of the Bay Area, which delivered many ground-breaking innovations:


  1. Strong number of talents / visionaries / founders, nurtured by local universities (Stanford/Singularity)
  2. High density of investors and therewith capital
  3. Innovative technologies
  4. Inspiring culture (which is the biggest differentiator in comparison to Switzerland)


Successful entrepreneurs have seminal ideas and introduce them quicker and cheaper to the market than potential competitors. Also they show 100% confidence in the idea and try to convince the world thereof with all available strength. Nevertheless, one of the investors we visited shared the following advice: “Don’t invest your own money since your risk aversion will raise.”


Often ideas are pitched 80 to 100 times before the first investor is found. The benefit of the repetition and the respective feedback: with each round the idea becomes clearer and the communication better. Victorious entrepreneurs share their ideas with everyone they know based on the motto: “Every thought becomes better when discussed with others”. The spatial closeness of the bay area and the high number of start-ups and investors support this exchange. Everyone keeps space in the agenda for spontaneous meetings with well-known investors, company founders or visitors from Switzerland. The following investment advice confirms the networking mind-set: “Work in a team, never alone – only then you will be successful.”