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Our year. San Francisco innovation hub in 2022

Like many around the world, at the end of the year, our team reflects on how we spent the past year: what results we were able to achieve and what difficulties we had to face. The results of our annual retrospective are presented in the article below.

Acquaintance with Said Amidi

I learned about Said Amidi as soon as I arrived in Silicon Valley.

He is a legendary figure who entered the venture business by successfully investing in the team that created PayPal and made $1.5 billion. We had the opportunity to meet him at an event we organized at the Plug and Play venue, as we have been collaborating with one of their top managers for a long time.

Thanks to the fact that we regularly hold various events at their venue and help Plug and Play bring in clients, Said Amidi came to one of our events, personally met us, and gave us his business card. After that meeting, we crossed paths with him several times, including when we were considering investment opportunities with Plug and Play for our venture syndicate.

Next year, we plan to work more closely with this accelerator.

Charity event

This year, we also held a charity event at Plug and Play venue, which gathered more than 150 people.

Entrepreneurs and startups from all over America, venture investors, professors from Stanford and Berkeley, and employees of corporations living and working in Silicon Valley came to us.

At the charity event, we raised over $15,000 to support Ukraine.

Stanford’s first investment course

15 years ago, when I was working in a housing and utilities sector, I dreamed of studying at Stanford and living in Silicon Valley. But as a plumber, I didn’t know how to make it happen.

This year, I fulfilled my dream and took the first course in venture investing at Stanford.

Stanford is the birthplace of the venture business model. Hewlett and Packard, Stanford graduates, created a low-frequency generator, the first buyer of which was Disney. This is how the history of Silicon Valley began.

It was significant for me to study venture investing in a university where this business model was born. Successful venture investors who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in various deals were speakers on our course. We not only learned from them but also had the opportunity to meet them and work on joint projects in the future.

The first English-speaking participants

When we first came to America, we dreamed of working with the English-speaking market.

This year, we tested dozens of different hypotheses to start working with English-speaking students from different countries. Unfortunately, most of the hypotheses didn’t work out.

But we didn’t give up, and thanks to our connections with two top universities in Brazil and Austria, more than 200 English-speaking entrepreneurs from around the world went through our program.

This way we confirmed the viability of our business model. Now we confidently look to the future, planning to work with English-speaking clients from all over the world on a larger scale.

Event in Miami

At the end of the year, I was asked to organize a panel discussion with venture investors from Silicon Valley.

I managed to gather top entrepreneurs from the venture business, such as Nikolay Davydov, Nikolay Oreshkin, Maxim Prasolov, Sasha Soroka, and hold a panel discussion, thanks to which the participants learned:

  • how decisions are made in venture capital,
  • what changes have occurred due to the falling market,
  • and what strategy is most relevant today for investing in venture deals.

Vipassana, Burning Man, Ayahuasca

When I first came to California, one of the venture capitalists who manages a billion dollars said at one of our meetings that to become a true Californian and understand the mindset of this place, he was recommended to go through Vipassana, Burning Man, and Ayahuasca.

I also set a plan to go through all of these, but I never found the time until this year.
And this year, I managed to tick off all three points.

Of these three experiences, Vipassana was the most memorable and transformative for me.

After Vipassana, since June, I have given up fish, meat, and meditate for 2 hours every day.

I meditate for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening every day.
One of the main insights that came to me in one of the meditations was that there is no black and white, good and bad.

This is a binary system, like one and zero, which, in aggregate, represents information about a certain program.

It helps to take you to the next level and learn not to engage in either good or bad, but to continue to be an observer.

You can see certain patterns, and by realizing them, you can move faster.
One of the main advantages of realizing yourself as an observer is that you stop reacting to a huge number of distracting factors that make you experience euphoria.
Because experiences and euphoria disconnect you from reality, and you stop being effective at what you do.

I highly recommend Vipassana out of the three experiences, as one of the most memorable experiences that can divide your life into before and after.

Six immersion programs in a year and a record-breaking number of participants

Our lives, like the rest of the world, were divided into “before” and “after” with the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Our business is tied to the economic and political situation in the world. After February 24, the business model we had created and worked on for years stopped working.

We had to test a lot of new things to find what would work. Despite all the difficulties, this year we were able to achieve a record number of programs and participants.
Thanks to this work, we were also able to expand our community with new members.

If you want to become a participant in our program in Silicon Valley in 2023 and join our community of entrepreneurs, leave a request using the button below.

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