Here in the Global Silicon Valley, we live for making worldwide connections through technology, and last week we hosted visitors from 3 different countries at GSVlabs. We were lucky enough to have government delegations from Mexico and Indonesia at Labs, and interestingly enough, each of these delegations hail from the second largest cities in their respective countries; Surabaya, Indonesia, and Guatalajara, Mexico. In addition, we also hosted a cohort of 3 international startups, via the Navigator Program, a collaboration between JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Cockpit Innovations (El Al Airlines innovation arm.)
The Mayor of Surabaya, Mrs. Tri Rismaharini, returned for her second visit to Labs on Monday with hopes that we could connect her to new technology and thought leadership in Silicon Valley that she could bring back to the people of Surabaya. In past efforts to improve crime and traffic, she’s had cameras installed throughout the city, which links to her iPad, allowing her to monitor various sites. She is wildly popular in her country for being a transformative leader, so we were excited to discuss ways we can help support the budding innovation ecosystem. The outcome for the near term is GSVlabs will host a group of 18 aspiring entrepreneurs in March for an immersion program designed to help develop their mindset and give them tools to successfully create businesses.
The next day, Tuesday February 14th, the founders of Balero (Chairman Angel Banuelos and CFO Fernando Fonseca) brought a delegation from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. In attendance was the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Jamie Reyes, Minister of Innovation, who is very passionate about developing a mature digital economy in Mexico through entrepreneurship. We recently accelerated startups from Mexica via our Pioneer Accelerator in conjunction with the Google Developers Launchpad, so we were happy to have the opportunity to discuss further plans for GSVlabs to enter into the Mexican market during 2017 and ways we can leverage their contacts within government, universities and corporations to help develop the startup community.
Throughout the week, we also hosted a group of 3 international startups from the travel and hospitality industry, through the Navigator accelerator program. The teams spent their first few months in Tel Aviv refining their business plans, and have now spent a month in the heart of Silicon Valley. They spent Monday at GSVlabs, meeting with some mentors from our network, and have been traveling up and down the peninsula visiting other sites such as Google, Battery Ventures, Airbnb, and meeting with VCs and potential corporate partners.
Whether trying to accelerate their business, working to make technological advances throughout their region, or leading a city through transformation, these visitors all had one common goal – to learn ways in which we in Silicon Valley can help them move forward in their ventures. We were thrilled to help make the connections they were seeking, and to help in spreading the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives here to our friends around the world. Visits like the ones we had last week are what make our vision of a Global Silicon Valley a reality.