Hello, Czech startup people!
We are Manta Tools and we participated in (well, we actually won) Silicon Valley Expedition 2015, which was made possible by Czech ICT Incubator. We sent four of our guys to the San Francisco Area for three months, and it lead to great progress. Here’s a few reasons why you might want to consider signing up yourselves this year.
1. We grew like hell.
Yes, expansion to the US is not possible if you are not there. Even if you cannot move there indefinitely (and none of us have so far), it’s still necessary to be there, at least in the beginning. Yes, it’s always possible to do the expansion yourself (and we would have done it eventually), but this was a great opportunity to jump start that process. This program also helped us with another really important thing – networking. By being at investor-oriented events (such as these) we were able to connect with the right people who pointed us in the right direction (to other even better people). After three months, we were able to hire our first US employee, and we got our first US corporate customer a few months after that.
2. You will bloom. I mean, personally.
Personal growth is another key thing. All four of us gained valuable experience – not only through the previously mentioned networking, but also by being exposed to various new business and off-duty situations. You will understand the American mentality a bit better and of course improve your English language skills. (Proofreader’s note: You might still need a proofreader for official communications, though.)
3. It’s also for the weird ones.
We operate in enterprise B2B space – our product costs way more than $19.99/month and selling it to the biggest corporations in the world takes time. This is why we do not fit into the “traditional startup scheme” (get a somewhat functioning product – get a few non-paying customers – create some hype – find an investor – grow a little bit – create even more hype – sell ASAP). And yet, this trip was really useful. So, even if you are not a traditional startup – don’t worry, there’s a place for you there.
Would you like more info? Well, you should start by having a look at the Czech ICT Alliance website. Immediately after that, you should read Petr Stipek’s Silicon Valley Is A Neutron Star and my Into the Box Called Silicon Valley, which include personal thoughts on our startup experience. And if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.