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US Trip Diary: Searching for Validation

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“What if I told you, there is a place where VCs are not scared of risk and embrace ambitious startups?”

Ricardo’s words were intriguing, enticing even. Where could this place be? Manchester perhaps? Could these people in this wonderland handle the ambition I have for Satago? There was only one way to find out – take the red pill and go down the rabbit hole, not to Manchester (lovely place it may be), but to… America!

Satago 1

The investment advice in America started almost as soon as I had my boots on the ground, at the customs border, with the TSA agent helpfully telling me that if I wanted to raise investment for my company I should go where the Chinese are – “they have lots of money and want to invest it in America. Go where there is gambling and you will find them.” Sage words indeed, helpful TSA lady, but I decided to stick with Seedcamp’s itinerary of top US VC firms, rather than hang out in casinos.

Three minutes is not a long time for a VC pitch, but after two weeks I was a master of succinct-pitching. All the Seedcamp companies were. In fact, by the end of the trip we were also masters of pitching each others’ companies. Tom from Formisimo gave a convincing Satago pitch to a lawyer at the Silicon Valley Bank party, which was only let down by his rather dismal attempt at a Scottish accent. “Put the cookie down. Och aye!”

Satago 2

A particular benefit of the meetings for me was the opportunity to get top VCs’ opinions on a slight strategy change for Satago that I had been considering. When VCs at Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia all think that what you are considering is a good idea, it’s probably a good idea. Nice validation to have.

Seedcamper goes to America! Many VCs in America! Very big deals in America! Boots on the ground in America!


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