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The Bay Area entrepreneurship and how to succeed

Last week StepOne’s Anna Kojzar (@annasfo) attended Golden Gate University’s Inaugural Forum on Entrepreneurship. Matthew Trevithick, partner at Venrock led the discussion with the question “What is the current status of entrepreneurship in the Bay Area and what does it take to succeed?”

One of the main takeaways was that there is no other place like the Bay Area anywhere else in the world. Here is what makes it so special:

The State of Entrepreneurship in the Bay Area

  • Tech is Booming
  • Balance of Power is Shifting to Entrepreneurs
  • Tech Entrepreneurs are Really Good
  • Healthcare & Energy are Hard
  • Venture Capital is No Longer a Growth Industry
  • Prolonged Path to Public Markets
  • The Bay Area has an Innovation Ecosystem (see the figure below)

Aside from just being in the Bay Area, there are some important things you must do if you want to succeed.

What Does it Take to Succeed?

  1. Make Friends Before You Need Them
  2. Be Authentic
  3. Demonstrate Market Pull
  4. Presentation Skills Matter for Fundraising
  5. Think Like an Investor

One final tip that was given at the forum was the importance of resources. When pitching, “ask for resources!” Many people have their minds wrapped around VC money, they forget that introductions may be just as important. Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions to people and human capital that could be essential in moving your business forward. People in the Bay Area are very well connected and would be more than happy to connect you to others that could prove useful to you. Just remember to ask.