the bridgeAs long as I can remember there’s been talk about building a bridge between Silicon Valley and one of the many want-to-be-a-startup-hubs. Several locations have taken turns building this golden bridge, which has come to be the holy grail of every emerging technology hub regardless of the nationality. There’s many who have tried their luck including China, Israel, Bangalore and earlier on even Helsinki to just name a few. It has been studied to death and visited by the ministers, mayors, professors and venture capitalist, all trying to figure out how their respective institution, city or country could become like the Valley or at least enjoy the benefit from a distance.

Low and behold, now it’s us going there with Aalto Entrepreneurship Society or Aaltoes at the student society like to call themselves. So what’s different this time? Yet-another-silicon-valley-crusade? I tell you what’s different. This times it’s coming from bottom-up, and it’s coming with the passion and energy that only a startup, or a group of hungry university students dreaming about setting up a startup, can have.

When the students first asked ArcticStartup to come along with them, I knew we had to go. There was the same passion and naive belief that I vividly remember from the early days when we were lifting ArcticStartup on its feet. Not that we have ever lost the passion, let alone the naive belief, but that’s not the point. You know you’re dealing with the real deal when you see the fire in the eyes and you rarely see that when talking to mayors or politicians.

So here we are. The show starts on the 26th October and last for a full week until the 1st November. And even though I know we have week full of meeting and visits, I’m still trying to pull the final schedule together with the Aaltoes team to get the most out of the trip and build those valuable contacts for everybody. Build that infamous bridge.

For those trailblazers who have either made their way to Silicon Valley already and set up their firm, or know someone who has and think it would be absolutely invaluable for a group of students and about 10 startups to meet them, do let us know in the comments or email me at ville [at] arcticstartup.com We’d love to meet you if our time table allows. This call goes out especially to all the entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists that have their roots in the Northern Europe but have set up a camp in the Silicon Valley.

Starting 26th October we will posting regularly from the trip doing interviews and reporting what we make of the Valley vis-a-vis the Arctics. We’re coming, guns blazing!

Photo by th.omas (CC)