We were lucky to be chosen as part of the STARTnordic delegation to San Francisco. The trip took place over a week in March, with a visit to the LAUNCH Festival and the opportunity to meet and get to know fellow like-minded entrepreneurs and explore the ecosystem surrounding San Francisco area, famously called ”Silicon Valley”.
The delegation consisted of six of the most promising startups from each of the Nordic countries, so 30 companies in total. We were very happy to have even been considered as one of Norway’s most up and coming companies, let alone be selected to join the trip. The other great companies joining the trip from Norway were Flowmotion, who make a rock n’ roll motorized GoPro stabilizer, Islero who are democratizing the world of investment research, Orbit who work within the artificial intelligence (AI) space and Mindfit, an self-help app focusing on mental health training.
Make sure you check them out, they all have great potential to be the next star of Norway’s startup scene. Our Norwegian future is looking very bright, with all the new startups popping up in light of the ongoing ”oil crisis”, which has really started to encourage diversification and innovation.
The LAUNCH Festival is one of the largest startup conferences in the world, with 15,000 attendees, four stages, and 250 speakers focused on helping founders build, scale, and fund the next generation of outstanding companies.
It was a great opportunity to meet and talk with potential customers, partners, investors and entrepreneurs, and since we didn’t have a bike to demonstrate, we concentrated on showing our videos, talking about our bikes and how we intend to change the way we exercise indoors. We got some great feedback and people are now eagerly waiting for us to bring the bikes over to Silicon Valley, which we also intend to do within the year. Our goal is to open up a showroom in the area so that we have a physical presence 24/7.
At the moment we do have a presence at Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto, which works as a Nordic incubator, meaning that we have office space and an address to use whenever we’re travelling to the area. This is a super option that has been invaluable for us in securing meetings and finding contact points to helps us move forward.
While we're talking about Silicon Valley, we can’t go on without mentioning the culture that drives the whole ecosystem there. There is an openness and willingness to help, network and connect that you just can't find anywhere else in the world. It’s truly something everyone should experience and take part in. It’s the pay it forward culture in action and it’s best explained by saying that helping others is a good thing to do; “If I help you on the way, you will probably help someone later, and if I need help further down the road, someone will help me”. It’s a chain reaction of positivity and with this mindset, there is literally no one you cannot get access to. Every person you meet on the way can and will do what they can to help and guide you in the right direction.
So for us, when we're in San Francisco or out travelling, we try to go out to mixers and events to meet and network with as many people as possible. This allows us to spread the word of what we do, but also to gain access to the people and companies we want to partner up with further down the road. In return we try to bring back this mentality and mindset to Norway and do good here. You should embrace it too!
And for the record, cycling is huge in California! Almost everyone either goes mountain biking or road cycling (or both) and the possibilities in the landscape are phenomenal. That’s one of the reasons it’s so exciting to be there talking about our company and our bikes, people can really relate to what we are doing.
A big high five to Startup Norway for organizing and sponsoring the trip, and to all of the other Nordic participants, and people we met during our trip. We will be back soon California!
On a separate note, we are now in the final stages of getting ready ready for our next event, FIBO 2016 in Cologne, Germany. This is one of the world’s biggest fitness industry exhibitions and, more importantly for us, it's the first time we have exhibited at a major European fitness show, so we're using the event as an opportunity for us to officially launch to the European market. We'll be on stand 9/E51 and are looking forward to showing off the bikes and letting people try out our new multiplayer function - this will be the first time we've been able to demo this live at an event.
We will use our time at the show to discuss distribution and partnership opportunities with Activetainment. This is now one of our major focuses for the next six months, as the right distribution partners mean that we can start to widen our sales network and launch our bikes in many more regions (if not the whole world...!) If you or anyone you know could make the perfect distribution partner for us, you can find out a bit more information here.
ONE LAST THING
And...last but by no means least...we want to wish all our friends, fans and supporters a very happy Easter!! We have a huge spring and summer ahead of us and we look forward to telling you more very soon :)