Posted on | June 15, 2009 | No Comments
On June 11th, participants in the Innovate!Europe Trade Mission dined at Palo Alto’s iconic deal-making restaurant, Il Fornaio, as part of their weeklong tour of Silicon Valley. During dinner, the entrepreneurs reconnected with many of the mentors from the Master Class in Zaragoza, Spain, including Madeline Duva, Barak Berkowitz, Benoit Bergeret, Mike Rogers, Michael Copeland, Bambi Franciso and David Sifry.
Thanks to Madeline Duva for taking these photos of the dinner.
Posted on | June 10, 2009 | No Comments
Over 250 companies from across Europe and Israel competed in the Innovate!Europe ’09 program for the title of Europe’s Most Promising Startup. A select group of finalists, chosen by a world-class panel of serial entrepreneurs, investors and journalists, were invited to participate in this year’s Trade Mission to Silicon Valley.
- develops an AI-powered desktop companion that receives and reads news and social network updates to the user. To learn more about Arimaz, download Guidewire Group’s Arimaz SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- business intelligence. To learn more about Climpact, download Guidewire Group’s Climpact SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- offers a semantic search engine dedicated to helping people find the ideal job in the simplest, most effective way possible. To learn more about JobiJoba, download Guidewire Group’s JobiJoba SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- KnowGate develops Java-based, open-source CRM and groupware software. To learn more about KnowGate, download Guidewire Group’s KnowGate SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- offers easy and secure file sharing, no matter where you are, through automatic synchronization across any computer. To learn more about NomaDesk, download the Guidewire Guidewire Group’s NomaDesk SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
gathers communities of passionate people with games and services, to
let them extend their passion online and share it with other people. To
learn more about Owlient, download Guidewire Group’s Owlient SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
is a social desktop aggregator that integrates all of a user’s key
online services into one streamlined desktop application. To learn more
about Sobees, download Guidewire Group’s Sobees SCORECARD (PDF) and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- is an online video magazine offering interactive video clips on a variety of topics, including fashion, travel, design and art. To learn more about TheCrane.tv, download Guidewire Group’s theCrane.tv SCORECARD and SCORECARD Legend (PDF).
- Vaelsys allows computer systems attached to connected devices to process and understand gathered data.
Posted on | May 22, 2009 | No Comments
Innovate!Europe is a three-part program designed to identify Europe’s top startups who are ready to expand to Silicon Valley and beyond. More than 250 European and Israeli companies were evaluated by Guidewire Group’s analyst team which selected the finalists based on the quality of their product concept, market opportunity, business execution and management team.
The most promising companies from Innovate!Europe are coming to Silicon Valley on June 8-12 for a week of relationship building with partners, investors, service providers and media. These companies may be your next partner, client, investment or story, so check them out at http://www.innovate-events.com/finalists-applicants/
Guidewire Group and co-hosts City of Zaragoza, Orrick, AlpinaSearch & Plug and Play Tech Center invites you to meet these extraordinary European companies during the Innovate!Europe Showcase and Cocktail Reception at Plug and Play’s Sunnyvale offices on June 10, 2009 from 3pm to 8pm.
There is no cost to attending this event, but space is limited, so you must register to attend at http://www.amiando.com/IE09Showcase.html
Posted on | May 20, 2009 | No Comments
Participants in Innovate!Europe will have an opportunity to put their newfound knowledge to use during an invite-only Innovate!Europe Trade Mission that will visit Silicon Valley, June 8-12, 2009.
The Trade Mission will help accelerate your launch into Silicon Valley, introducing you to a high-level audience of venture capitalists, private investors and U.S. entrepreneurs, and facilitating access to financiers, partners and service providers who can further your company’s growth – all while immersing you in the Silicon Valley startup culture. It is intended to put you face to face with the people and companies that you need to know in order to build your global business.
Session A: Understanding Incorporation and Financing Structures in the U.S.
What are the different methods by which companies obtain financing in the United States? This work session explores jurisdictions of incorporation, licensing requirements, whether to obtain angel or venture financing and the differences between them, convertible cash advance loans structures, preferred equity round structures, hot button due diligence issues for investors, employment terms and vesting requirements, and tax issues.
The program for the week’s events is available below.
Monday, June 8, 2009
The opening session will be held at the Innovate!Europe Trade Mission “base camp” hotel, the San Mateo Marriott.
1:00 pm Trade Mission Welcome Lunch & Working Session
We re-introduce Trade Mission members to the Guidewire Group team and one another, outline the week’s program details, and re-visit your needs and wants.
3:00 pm Coffee Break
3:30 pm Workshop: “They Made It”
Angelika Blendstrup literally wrote the book on the practices of Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, and she did so with a unique focus, telling the stories of foreign-born entrepreneurs, such as Eric Benhamou, Jean-Louis Gassee, Raj Singh, Wu Fu Chen, Suhas Patil, Omid Kordestani, Qi Lu and Dan Maydan.
Through these stories, Angelika has
identified “recipes for success” with specific ingredients that if
applied may smooth the path upward. Angelika is a special resource for
non-native Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. She speaks five languages and
teaches U.S. business communications to international executives,
coaching them in accent reduction, corporate presentations, personal
branding and interviewing skills. We’re delighted to bring her
expertise to you in this session.
4:45pm Depart Hotel
5:15pm French Tech Tour Launch Party at Quadrus Conference Center on Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park
Sponsored by the French Trade Office
of the French Embassy, the French Tech Tour brings a handful of French
entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley to meet with potential customers. This
year, the French Tech Tour occurs during the same week as
Innovate!Europe Trade Mission. The two organizations are cooperating
with one another to provide expanded opportunities to meet Silicon
Valley customers and investors. Guidewire Group Chairman Chris Shipley
will give a brief welcoming address at this event.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Tuesday’s program provides the opportunity to tour some of Silicon Valley’s most remarkable technology companies. Trade Mission attendees will travel together to visit these companies.
8:00 am Meet in Lobby of San Mateo Marriott; Depart by 8:15am.
8:45am Visit to Sun Microsystems, Menlo Park
Sun will host a special morning meeting for Trade Mission participants with company chairman and co-founder Scott McNealy, followed by a presentation on Sun’s Startup Essentials program. Startup Essentials provides education, resources and support to technology entrepreneurs around the world, and this overview will highlight the benefits and services available to young companies. This is a unique opportunity to meet the leadership of Sun as well as fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The visit will conclude with a quick tour of the company’s innovation center to give Trade Mission participants a look at some of Sun’s advanced technology initiatives.
2:30pm Visit to Google campus in Mountain View
Trade Mission participants will be
treated to a private tour of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View
from 2:30pm to 4:00pm. It’s a unique opportunity to get a
behind-the-scenes look at one of the most successful companies in
Silicon Valley. More details will be shared at the kick-off meeting on
5:00pm Return to Hotel
6:00pm Depart for San Francisco
7:00pm First Round Capital — Summer Party
First Round Capital, one of the
premier early stage venture capital firms, is inviting
Innovate!Europe’s Trade Mission participants to its summer party in San
Francisco. The event is taking place at one of San Francisco’s historic
music venues, The Great American Music Hall, and will feature a who’s
who of Silicon Valley’s VCs, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. So
be ready to use your networking skills! First Round’s team
specializes in seed-stage investments, often providing a company’s
first outside capital. Some of the companies they’ve invested in
include Mint Software, VideoEgg, Transpera, Wikia, eInsured and Attributor.
9:30pm Bus departs for return trip to San Mateo Marriott
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
8:30am Meet in Lobby of San Mateo Marriott; depart hotel to first venue by 8:45am
9:30am Visit to Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale
We’ll kick off the third day of the Trade Mission with a visit to Yahoo!’s headquarters in Sunnyvale where Trade Mission participants will get a chance to meet with members of the company’s product and business development teams from 9:30am to 11:00am.
12:00pm Lunch at Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale
PlugandPlayTechCenter.com (PnP) is home to some of Silicon Valley’s smartest technology startups. In Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Redwood City, PnP provides office services to a thriving community of entrepreneurs , and enhances that experience by creating networking opportunities for tenants to meet with and be advised by investors and service providers. PnP is the host of the Trade Mission’s Showcase and Reception.
1:00pm Workshop: Pitch Polish
This workshop provides one last opportunity to hone your company positioning and presentation before unleashing your message on the Innovate!Europe Trade Mission Showcase attendees.
3:00pm Innovate!Europe Trade Mission Showcase
This is your chance to demonstrate your technology to and speak one-on-one with Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and media.
5:00pm Showcase Reception
The Showcase continues into the evening in a relaxed business networking environment. Silicon Valley media, investors, entrepreneurs, corporate development executives, and other potential high-value partners are invited to join this reception to meet you and begin the process of relationship building. We will be joined this evening by entrepreneurs from two other international programs, ANZA (Australia/New Zealand) and the French Tech Tour.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
8:00am Meet in Lobby of San Mateo Marriott
8:30am Breakfast at Buck’s Restaurant in Woodside
Buck’s is the iconic meeting place of entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley. Many a business has been started from plans drawn on the back of a Buck’s placemat. PayPal demonstrated its first mobile-to-mobile electronic payment at a Buck’s breakfast. If you’re going to live and work in Silicon Valley, you need to know what it means when someone says, “Let’s meet at Buck’s.”
10:00am Office Hours at Orrick in Menlo Park
Thursday and Friday schedules are
designed to give you the opportunity to set private meetings with
individuals identified by you and/or Guidewire Group as important
potential partners. You will be provided with meeting space at the
offices of the Orrick law firm in the heart of Silicon Valley. In
addition to the open meeting schedule, we are arranging meals at some
of Silicon Valley’s most iconic meeting locations.
6:30pm Mentor Dinner at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto
Located in downtown Palo Alto and just a mile from the Stanford University campus, Il Fornaio restaurant is an institution in Silicon Valley. For years, it has served as the meeting place for the thought leaders of the technology industry. We’ll enjoy dinner at this classic restaurant as we reunite with a number of the mentors who participated in the Zaragoza Master Class.
Friday, June 12, 2009
7:30am Meet in Lobby of San Mateo Marriott
8:00am Breakfast with Angels at Orrick
This informal breakfast meeting, hosted at Orrick’s offices in Menlo Park, will give you the opportunity to meet members of Silicon Valley’s angel investor community.
10:00am Office Hours at Orrick in Menlo Park
Friday’s flexible schedule is designed to enable you to set meetings with new colleagues you’ve met on the Trade Mission or existing Silicon Valley contacts you need to see while you are in the area. Orrick’s office is conveniently located off Highway 101 at the Marsh Road exit. It’s also only a short walk to the Starbucks coffee shop that has become a rendezvous point for Silicon Valley meetings.
1:00pm Visit to Microsoft campus in Mountain View
Trade Mission participants will enjoy a private visit to Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View where we’ll meet with members of the company’s Emerging Business Team from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
4:00pm Closing BBQ
We celebrate the end of a successful Trade Mission with an informal and relaxing barbeque at the San Mateo Marriott where we’ll raise a glass to toast your future success in Silicon Valley and around the globe.
Starting at 6:00pm Networking Events in San Francisco (Optional)
If you’re ready for more networking before the week ends, we’ve arranged invitations for you to attend two parties in San Francisco. These are optional activities that will require you to arrange your own transportation.
The first event is a Happy Hour celebration hosted by StumbleUpon and STIRR from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. The second event is a more intimate gathering hosted by Innovate!Europe mentor Benoit Bergeret and consultant Phil Jeudy that begins at 7:00pm. RSVPs are required — we’ll share more details with you via email on June 8th.
Posted on | May 19, 2009 | No Comments
NomaDesk, a document collaboration solutions provider, was awarded the “Most Promising Startup” honors at the 2009 Innovate! Europe Master Class. Organized by the Guidewire Group, and Innovate Ventures, the Innovate!Europe program identifies the top technology start-ups in Europe and Israel and helps them accelerate their business internationally while providing them with valuable exposure.
Among the 168 promising start-ups that competed, NomaDesk stood out due to its potential – excellent technology, strong management team and already successful business model. As the “Most Promising Startup,” NomaDesk will spend three months in the Guidewire STUDIO, an in-residence business accelerator in the heart of Silicon Valley, where NomaDesk executives will have the opportunity to benefit from high-tech, business and investment expert mentors, to reach new investors and to form strategic partnerships.
“NomaDesk grabbed the winning nomination from our mentors because the company is already making substantial progress in its efforts to take its business into new markets,” said Chris Shipley, Chairman of Guidewire Group. “From its current revenue-generating business, we expect NomaDesk to become a brand name in the global market for virtual document sharing and storage.”
“NomaDesk is honored to have won this competition, which rewards over 5 years of hard work and innovation, and we are looking forward to further benefiting from Guidewire Group’s strategic advice and guidance.”
The prize was awarded to NomaDesk for its file sharing software solution, which enables geographically dispersed professionals to store files, synchronize, secure, access, transfer, and eventually securely share them from any location, whether on- or off-line.
NomaDesk was founded in 2004 by Filip Tack, its current CEO, along with CTO Miguel De Buf and COO Peter Geldhof. Based in Gent, Belgium, the company is supported by Gimv, a European independent investment company. NomaDesk employs 17 employees with offices and servers in Gent and Atlanta, Georgia.
Posted on | May 6, 2009 | 2 Comments
After three jam-packed days in Zaragoza of high-energy pitching, feedback, and counsel from our slate of seasoned mentors, we’re pleased to announce our top ten Master Class finalists. We’ll share more about our selection process next week, and how the Master Class mentors chose ten from such a deserving class of companies. The winner of our 2009 Innovate!Europe competition will be announced tonight in Zaragoza by Mr. Juan-Tomas Hernani, Spain’s newly appointed General Secretary of Innovation, at a public reception. But in the meantime, here are the top ten finalists, in no particular order.
Posted on | April 28, 2009 | No Comments
We’ve just confirmed that Mr. Juan-Tomas Hernani, Spain’s newly-appointed General Secretary of Innovation, will take part in the closing celebration of Innovate!Europe Master Class, next Wednesday, May 6.
Innovate!Europe will close its Master Class program with a public forum, “Meet the Entrepreneurs,” where ten finalist companies will present their businesses plans. Executives from each of the finalist companies will give a 10-minute presentation that describes the company, its unique value proposition, and its market potential.
At the completion of the the presentations, Mr. Hernani will address the Master Class and join the leadership of Innovate!Europe to announce and present the award to Innovate!Europe’s High-Potential Startup of 2009.
The forum will take place at the Teatro Principal in Zaragoza, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, at 18h00.
Posted on | April 22, 2009 | No Comments
Innovate!Europe is pleased to invite the business, academic, and media communities of Zaragoza and Aragon to join the faculty and attendees of Master Class during the opening session of Innovate!Europe 2009.
Following the official opening by the Honorable Juan Alberto Belloch, mayor of the City of Zaragoza, the program will convene a roundtable discussion of distinguished technology entrepreneurs and investors lead by Ignacio de la Vega, founder and director of the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Ventures Development at Instituto de Empressa Business School.
The discussion topic, Thriving in the Crisis, explores how new and growing businesses can best weather the current economic storm, and even come out ahead.
Innovate!Europe’s Master Class program is taking place during the most difficult global economic crisis of our lifetimes. Yet we share the common belief that entrepreneurship and innovation are the surest way to shift market momentum and drive economic growth. How must innovative companies plan and manage their businesses during the recession to position themselves for better growth and outcomes when the market begins to turn? Where is there opportunity?
The public is invited to join Master Class mentors David Sifry, Marten Mickos, Yoav Leitersdorf, Maximilian Niederhofer, Barak Berkowitz, Madeline Duva, and Mike Rogers as they take up these questions in a robust discussion hosted by Ignacio de la Vega.
The roundtable takes place Monday, May 4, at 19h00 at the Teatro Principal, Zaragoza. For further information, please contact email@example.com.
Posted on | April 14, 2009 | 4 Comments
We’ve very excited to post the program for this year’s Master Class. The program offers a rich array of information, strategic counsel, and first-hand learning for our finalists as they consider the next phase of growth for their businesses.
Innovate Europe Master Class Program
May 4 – 6, 2009 Zaragoza, Spain
(Afternoon by appointment) Pitch Reviews with Guidewire Group Analysts – Teatro Principal
19h00: Opening Session – Teatro Principal
The Honorable Juan Alberto Belloch, mayor of the City of Zaragoza, and our esteemed patrons Informatica El Corte Ingles and the Gobierno de Aragon, open the Master Class with an official welcome.
Thriving in the Crisis: A Mentor Roundtable
We convene this Master Class during the most difficult global
economic crisis of our lifetimes. Yet we share the common belief that
entrepreneurship and innovation are the surest way to shift market
momentum and drive economic growth. How must innovative companies plan
and manage their businesses during the recession to position themselves
for better growth and outcomes when the market begins to turn? Where is
there opportunity for such growth?
Ignacio de la Vega, Founder and Director of the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Ventures Development (ICEVED) at IE Business School in Madrid will lead a discussion of Master Class Faculty and Mentors as they share their strategies for Thriving in the Crisis.
19h30: Welcoming Reception – Lounge, Teatro Principal
9h00: Registration – Lobby, Teatro Principal
10h00: Opening Session
Welcome – Chris Shipley
Master Class: David Sifry On Leadership
David Sifry is the Chairman of Technorati and the founder and CEO of OffBeat Guides. As a serial entrepreneur, David has built teams, raised capital, taken products to market, and architected successful exits. He brings a unique perspective on leadership, coaxing and coaching his teams to be their very best. Leading our first Master Class, David shares his insights on the skills, approach, and characteristics of strong entrepreneurial leaders.
11h30: Coffee Break
12h00: General Session
Setting Expectations: Raising Money Here and There
Many companies will seek venture capital to fund their global expansion. Fundraising is always challenging, particularly for companies moving to Silicon Valley from outside the United States. Our mentors discuss the realities of venture capital and suggest strategies for raising expansion capital.
- Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, YL Ventures, Netherlands & Israel
- Max Niederhofer, Atlas, United States
- Nicolas Rose, Xange, France
Meet the Mentors
The heart of the Master Class program is the mentor relationship. Participating entrepreneurs will be organized into small teams, each lead by a mentor. This is an opportunity to learn from the mentor’s experience, solicit feedback on your business, hone your company’s pitch and positioning, and begin to build your Silicon Valley business network.
13h30: Lunch with Mentors
Mentor teams will dine at local restaurants
15h30: Master Class Breakouts I – Roman Theatre
Session A: Building a Global Team
Innovate!Europe partners Orrick and AlpinaSearch provide insights into how global companies can best operate in the US. They will address the critical issues facing any company moving to the U.S., including when to set up a subsidiary, how to capitalize the subsidiary, and methods of creating an intra-company agreement with a European parent. They’ll discover how to put in place an equity incentive plan, establishing employment terms, set up a US bank account, and take appropriate steps to protect company interests.
- Gary Reeman, AlpinaSearch, Ltd. United Kingdom
- John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States
Session B: Driving Revenue
In any market, but particularly in today’s economic environment, there is no greater imperative for the leadership of a startup venture than to drive revenue growth. Veteran entrepreneurs and sales executives discuss strategies for managing partners, accelerating sales cycles, and closing new business.
- Mike Rogers, Guidewire Group, United States
- Madeline Duva, Third Eye Consulting, United States
(by appointment) Pitch Reviews w/ Guidewire Group Analysts – Teatro Principal
17h00: Master Class Breakouts II – Roman Theatre
Session: Adapting Your Business Plan in Times of Uncertainty, Shaping Strategy in the Current Economic Situation
The current atmosphere of uncertainty and insecurity is hampering the entrepreneurial community in terms of decision making and launching their initiatives. Our mentor will explain the key factors to consider in a business plan in order to limit the additional risks that emerge during a financial crisis.
- TBD, Instituto Empresa, Spain
20h00: Sessions Adjourn
Tapas with classmates and mentors on your own
9h00: General Session - Teatro Principal
Master Class with Marten Mickos
Marten Mickos built mySQL into a global brand name, with operations in more than 20 countries before selling the company to Sun Microsystems in early 2008. Marten will share his experiences, practices, and inside stories.
Setting Expectations: Doing Business in America
The decision to move into the U.S. market, move to Silicon Valley, and expand your business globally is one of the most complex and critical you’ll make for your growing startup. These European entrepreneurs talk about how they came to that decision for their companies and offer their guidance and advice for companies following their example.
- Benoit Bergeret, Founder, Realeyes 3D, France
- Barack Berkowitz, serial entrepreneur, United States
10h30: Coffee Break
11h00: Master Class Breakouts III – Roman Theatre
- John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States
Session B: Dancing with Elephants: Contemplating Partnerships
Partnering with another company is always a careful dance, and it is especially so as young companies strive to engage with well-established organizations. This session offers a perspective to our Master Class attendees as they seek to partner with global companies, and sets expectations for the Trade Mission to Silicon Valley.
- Chris Shipley, Guidewire Group, United States
13h30: Lunch w/ Mentors
15h30: Master Class Breakouts IV – Roman Theatre
Session A: Tackling the Immigration Challenges
Innovate!Europe partner Orrick explains the various methods by which European founders can work in the US. This session reviews different Visas, such as O1, L1, and H1B, using case studies of recent companies and entrepreneurs who have relocated to the US.
- John Bautista, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, United States
Session B: Working with the Global Media
Public relations and media remain the most cost-effective marketing a young company can do. This workshop explores how startups can extend their global reach by working effectively with traditional and emerging social media outlets.
- Colette Ballou, Ballou Public Relations, France
- Michael Copeland, Senior Writer, Fortune Magazine, United States
- Bambi Francisco, Founder, Vator.TV, United States
(by appointment) Pitch Session Rehearsals – Teatro Principal
Competition finalists will report to the Teatro Principal to rehearse their company pitch in advance of the closing session.
18h00: Closing Session: Meet The Entrepreneurs – Teatro Principal (open to the public)
Finalists for the 2009 Innovate!Europe Top Startup prize will present their companies in this public forum. Each entrepreneur will give a 10 minute presentation that describes the company, its unique value proposition, and its market potential.
Innovate!Honors: Entrepreneur of the Year
Innovate!Europe recognizes the achievements of the 2009 Master Class by awarding the Entrepreneur of the Year award to the one company that represents the greatest potential to out-perform in the global ITC market.
The award will be presented by Spain’s General Secretary of Innovation, The Honorable Juan-Tomas Hernani.
20h00: Celebration and Awards Reception - Lounge, Teatro Principal
21h00: Closing Event - Gran Hotel
Posted on | March 22, 2009 | No Comments
As you know, our goal with Innovate!Europe is not just to identify the top startups in Europe and Israel and help them accelerate their business in Silicon Valley, but to provide valuable exposure to every company that applies. That’s why we’re excited to tell you about the partnership we’ve created with to help Innovate!Europe applicants introduce themselves to Vator.tv’s influential audience.
Vator.tv is a place for startups to share their news and inform people of what they’re up to, either in video or short messaging. It’s a great launch-pad and marketing tool for entrepreneurs seeking exposure to the tens of thousands of investors, technology company executives and entrepreneurs who visit Vator.tv each month to find and follow hot startups.
We invite you to meet all of Innovate!Europe’s applicants as they post their video introductions to the Innovate!Europe competition on Vator.tv, and follow them as they go through the Innovate!Europe program and improve their pitching skills.
keep looking »