This weekend I will have the privilege to attend a Silicon Valley software tour, organized by the entrepreneurial organization Endeavor. We’ll be discussing the experiences of startups in the Valley, and how founders deal with issues ranging from sales strategy to raising cash. We’ll be meeting with some of the Valley’s most well-known executives, including people such as Aaron Levie and Eric Yuan.
The event is part of a new, ongoing initiative from Endeavor to bring together entrepreneurs to enhance networking opportunities and share experiences. For those not familiar with Endeavor, it is an organization that brings together high potential entrepreneurs from different companies to help them build a network to provide support, guidance, and learning opportunities. It’s based on the idea that where there are hubs of entrepreneurs, these organizations are more successful, and go on to have greater impact. However in many places in the world outside of places such as Silicon Valley or New York, these hubs don’t exist. The Endeavor network seeks to create them. Belatrix’s journey with Endeavor began in 2013 after a year long intensive selection process. With the help of this program, Belatrix has access to an international business network that provides strategic consulting, mentoring and coaching.
The Silicon Valley software tour this weekend is therefore very timely. We know that the software industry is in the midst of fundamental change, as technologies ranging from machine learning, big data, to the cloud converge to create a perfect storm of innovation. This storm is creating unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs, and we’re seeing new strategies emerge for how to navigate and succeed in this digital-first world. How can software companies handle the accelerating pace of change, the need for constant updates, while making the right decisions on where they should be placing their bets? What do these changes mean for your go-to market strategy? Should you partner with software giants such as Microsoft and Google? Is there a shift in power between these software giants, and new start-ups which have expertise and know-how in many of these new and emerging technologies – and if so, what does this mean for your strategy, and possible exit strategy?
As I mentioned, during the event this weekend, to help answer some of these questions, we will be meeting with some of the most well-known founders of leading Silicon Valley companies including Mikkel Svane (Zendesk), Phil Fernandez (Marketo), Aaron Levie (Box) and Eric Yuan (Zoom). So I want to know, what would you ask some of these entrepreneurs? If you leave your suggestion in the comments below, and I get a chance to ask your question, I’ll post their response in my next blog.