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Silicon Valley 2016 Blog Series

Teams from the Class of 2017 are writing about their experiences in Silicon Valley as a part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Business Consulting Trip in a series of blogs. You are currently reading the second blog in the series. You can read their additional blogs by clicking on the buttons below.

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Blog 2: Make Yourself Known

By Adan Elsaadi and Mario Fowler

The Telfer Executive MBA, Class of 2017 kicked off the Silicon Valley experience today with an unforgettable visit to the Consulate General of Canada office and the Salesforce headquarters office. 

Our day started off with a visit to the Consulate General of Canada office. The Consul General provided insight on the entrepreneurial and innovative culture of Silicon Valley, a culture that is hungry to recruit new talent and at the forefront of this recruitment is the C-100. The C-100 is a business association comprised of Canadian Venture Capitalist (VCs) and successful Canadian entrepreneurs who work to recruit Canadian talent. 

The key take learning from our visit to the Consulate General is that the average Canadian start-up that is looking to raise $1-5M in capital is too small for Silicon Valley venture capitalists.  In addition, entrepreneurs interested in joining the Silicon Valley ecosystem should spend a minimum of one year in Silicon Valley to explore opportunities and learn about the culture. "SV 101" training is available for potential start-ups. C-100 delivers SV 101 with the objective to provide entrepreneurs with the appropriate context to understand the Silicon Valley culture and ecosystem.  

Our afternoon consisted of an executive briefing at the Salesforce headquarters. Our visit started with a breathtaking experience of loitering in their unique entranceway.  The lobby hosted a digital wall presenting a virtual waterfall along the backside of the lobby splashing virual water around the elevator entrances. The visual display wasn't the only thing that caught our senses, a DJ was spinning tunes for those coming to and from headquarters.  We learned that a DJ spins every Monday in the lobby in order to kick-off the week and energize Salesforce employees.

The Salesforce team had prepared an engaging and informative presentation for our group, followed by an empathy mapping/group exercise that provided us with context about Salesforce products and services line.  Aligning with the Salesforce culture of promoting a high energy environment, we had the liberty of doing a team rock-paper- scissors "re-energizing" exercise. 

The key message of our day: advice to Executive MBA candidates from the Consul General is to make yourself known!


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