At Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront, on the 27 September 2017, Startup Grind’s Global Community Director Guillaume de Smedt announced that his organisation has teamed up with Heavy Chef (Pty) Ltd and Startup Safari to send a delegation of South African intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs to the annual Startup Grind Conference in Silicon Valley.
De Smedt revealed to a packed house in Cape Town that the global conference had been set for 12-14 February 2018 in Redwood City, just south of San Francisco. The conference is one of the entrepreneur scene’s most prominent events in an already glittering calendar. Previous speakers in past years include the founders of Lyft, AirBnB, Instagram and Slack - and 2018 promises to be even more star-studded than ever.
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“This is an important trip for our local entrepreneurs,” says De Smedt. “We have already begun the process of selecting the delegation and there is an unbelievable depth of talent in South Africa.”
Startup Grind is collaborating with Heavy Chef, one of South Africa’s most established entrepreneur communities, and Cape Town-based business travel organisation Startup Safari, which regularly takes startup founders to India and Europe.
"There is an unbelievable depth of talent in South Africa."
Apoorv Bamba, the CEO of Startup Safari, will be facilitating workshops on the trip. “We aim to attend the conference at the beginning of the trip, then meet with leaders in the tech and startup space during the second half of our schedule. However, this is not a ‘work package-tour’. The delegation will be visiting some of the most iconic businesses in the world and then internalising the lessons we learn during the day with a daily recap.”
The first three days will be spent at the Startup Grind conference, followed by four days of visiting companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Tesla.
"The power of magical interactions."
“We believe in the power of ‘magical interactions’,” says Heavy Chef founder Fred Roed. “I know from my own entrepreneurial journey that meeting with high-impact individuals can change lives, alter perspectives and ultimately stimulate the ambition that is required to be a successful entrepreneur. This trip is going to be something that successful applicants will remember for a lifetime.”
Speakers at previous conferences read like a who’s who of the tech / startup world: Marc Andreessen, inventor of the modern internet browser; Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google; Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; Logan Green, co-founder of Lyft - and many more. The conference organisers are expecting 6000 attendees from over 300 startup companies around the world.
“We expect 2018’s roster of speakers to be announced in November, but rest assured that the conference will be amazing,” asserts De Smedt. “We will also have over 200 investors at the event, so there is no shortage of opportunities for delegates.”
Applications for the 2018 delegation are open.
The delegation will be made up of two levels of entrepreneur. One level is a selection of emerging entrepreneurs, and the second will be established entrepreneurs. “The idea is that the emerging founders will learn from the more experienced set,” says Bamba. “This model makes the tour unique in that our delegates will learn from each other as much as from the conference and the business leaders that we meet.”
Applications to the 2018 San Francisco Entrepreneur Delegation can be found at the Heavy Chef website: www.heavychef.com/tours