From a box in Silicon Valley, to a global force of nature

Our mission at Plug and Play is simple, yet extremely complex:

  1. Invest in great startups (through our network and our capital)
  2. Be the patrons for open innovation (facilitate the partnerships between startups and corporations in one, single ecosystem)

When I joined the team at Plug and Play two years ago, we had a tool in our belt that was in fact a double-edged sword: the belief that Silicon Valley has an absolute advantage for building great startups.

It’s true, this small parcel of land has created a categorically disproportionate amount of technological advancement. But it does not have a monopoly on globally significant ideas. Sure, it attracts great entrepreneurs from across the planet, and corporations swarm here to work with them, but that can be replicated elsewhere too.

So, to scale our business, we needed to find similar opportunities outside of this haven of innovation. We moved into China and, with the government’s help, we now have eight locations, with a ninth waiting to be deployed. We struck up partnerships in Singapore to create a foothold, and worked with the President of Indonesia to position ourselves in his nation too.

Then came Europe. We already had a long-standing relationship with the media giant Axel Springer in Berlin and an outfit in Valencia, Spain to boot.

Then came a landmark relationship in our history that has been defining on many levels: the team at Daimler-Mercedes wanted to make a big push for mobility innovation. Together, we launched Startup Autobahn in Stuttgart in a hardware lab that actualized an engineer’s wildest dreams.

At the same time, we launched in Paris with the family-owned Galleries Lafayette to help transform the fashion industry.

And just today, we have created our second satellite in Paris with the mega-bank BNP Paribas to bring a much needed spark to the French finance and insurance landscape.

What started as a business growth need, turned into an awakening for us: Silicon Valley has been a great leader for a long time, but now the world is catching up around us.

Our global reach has ballooned in two, short years.

If you are interested in learning about how we boost innovation for the likes of Panasonic, Johnson & Johnson, Deutsche Bank, Samsung, Deloitte, Kohl’s, and 130 other blue chips — get in touch.