Last night, I caught up with Adiba Barney and Bill Reichert for dinner. It was great to reconnect.

A key outcome of the evening was the discussion around some of the logistics necessary for Wharf42’s 2016 #NZgoesSV program supporting Kiwi tech start-ups looking to explore opportunities in Silicon Valley. The discussion was necessary. We are looking to bring upto 40 participants to the Valley. The program follows the recent visit by Adiba and Bill to New Zealand.

During that visit, I had the opportunity to discuss at length with Bill & Adiba just how we might best support Kiwi start-ups looking to make connections on this side of the pond. Our focus was very much on accessing the wider Silicon Valley ecosystem and giving start-ups the opportunity to meet and pitch to potential investors, business partners and connectors.

Hanging out in Palo Alto last night

Hanging out in Palo Alto last night

SVForum is the perfect partner to support such a program. They are the oldest and largest not-for-profit network in the Bay area. Entrepreneur-focused, they work in tandem with the Valley’s major tech companies and vast investment community. It’s why Wharf42 is a SVForum Global Outreach Partner.

With their new understanding of the start-up tech scene in New Zealand, it has enabled us to draft a provisional program that opens up the ecosystem here to those Kiwi start-ups wnating to make serious connections in the Bay area.

The Program Summary

The purpose of  the program is:

  • To introduce program participants to Silicon Valley’s latest trends and activities around innovation, technology as well as its start-up and investment ecosystems
  • To strengthen and create sustainable connections and relationships between Kiwi start-ups participating in the program and the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and
  • To position NewZealand as a strong tech and start-up hub, and a great investment opportunity for Silicon Valley’s key players

The program will feature 12 visits over 4 days to key members of the Valley ecosystem including tech companies, incubators / accelerators, research institutes, venture capital and angel networks. The program will culminate with a custom-made “New Zealand goes Silicon Valley” event where the Silicon Valley community will be invited to attend and learn more about New Zealand’s emerging start-up tech ecosystem. New Zealand start-ups participating in the program will have the opportunity to pitch to an expected audience of between 250-300 Silicon Valley investors and potential business partners at this event.

As part of the planning, Wharf42 and SVForum will work to identify the most appropriate invitees to the “New Zealand goes Silicon Valley” event by profiling their interests against the start-up businesses participating in the Program. The intention is to create sustainable connections and relationships between participating start-ups and Silicon Valley’s ecosystem long after this Program ends.

Over the coming weeks, Jacqui and I will be spending a lot of time working with Adiba and the team at SVForum to build out the 2016 #NZgoesSV Program.

We will update on progress here over the coming weeks.

You can learn more about the build up to #NZgoesSV via our Twitter handle @Wharf42HQ