Building a Bridge Between Europe and Silicon Valley

It might be the most famous location in the world for technology and innovation. Hundreds of huge tech companies are headquartered there: eBay, Apple, Netflix, Airbnb, Twitter, not to mention Google and Facebook.

The place, of course, is Silicon Valley.

YouTube also has its headquarters in San Francisco.

But the Valley owes its success to people from all corners of the globe. In fact, more than half of Silicon Valley’s startups wouldn’t exist without foreign entrepreneurs. International partnerships and connections are crucial to the ecosystem of innovation and development.

IMPACT Accelerator, a fund of €6.4 million to invest in European startups, just spent a week in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco area, establishing and strengthening relationships with entrepreneurial organizations, accelerator programs, and top investors. IMPACT Accelerator was recently named among the top ten most active accelerator programs in the world, according to a report by Gust. More than 3,500 startups applied to our most recent Open call. Now we’re using our influence to connect top players globally.

San Francisco is a glorious melting pot of everything, even architecture styles-

IMPACT Accelerator is based in Spain, but our startups come from all over Europe. Silicon Valley companies have started looking beyond just American startups, and they’re getting excited about European teams, particularly Spanish startups, as James Cameron of Accel Partners explained on Medium. Silicon Valley knows that Europe offers high-quality founders, and often European startups have a lower valuation than their American counterparts. This helps balance the risk traditionally associated with investing in non-American startups.

Recent years have seen a growing number of European startups achieving high-profile exits in Silicon Valley, most notably Whatsapp. The number of huge buyouts is likely to continue to rise, with hundreds of European companies on the up-and-up. Additionally, Venture Capital firms in Spain and Europe are increasing, both in quantity of firms and amount of funds.

Accelerator program Plug and Play also has a branch in Valencia, Spain, though this is headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

IMPACT Accelerator represents broad European interests, thanks to our funding from the European Commission. We exist to drive innovation and to stimulate the use of FIWARE, a European technology initiative.

Stanford University’s campus is a great place to pick up inspiration.

Great partnerships lead to great results. That’s why IMPACT Accelerator is building a bridge between the European startup ecosystem and Silicon Valley. The flow of knowledge, talent, skills, and inspiration from one continent to another will lead us all to achieve more than any of us could on our own.

Sebas and Valeria snap a selfie at the Airbnb offices.

We’re connecting with entrepreneurs, investors, other accelerator programs, and world-renowned startups. We know that European founders have a valuable contribution to make to the tech world. We are going to put the most capable #IMPACTers in touch with relevant players in the Valley to help both parties jump up to a new level.

Signing in at 500 Startups is a high-tech experience (naturally!).

It was a productive week of meetings. Thanks to YouTube, Plug and Play Tech Center, 500 Startups, Impact Hub, Airbnb, and Spain Tech Center for inspiring and collaborating with us! Now we’re back in Europe, continuing the work of establishing connections. The bridge we build together will connect bright minds on both sides of the ocean.

Hello from the other side.

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