I spend a lot of time speaking with founders -- typically first time founders -- first time visiting Silicon Valley -- or first time fundraising in the Valley. So I wanted to share some advice on Navigating Silicon Valley.
Don't Come When You Need To
Whether you're looking for funding, customers or you want to connect with influencers and experienced leaders, the best time to come to the Valley is before you need any of them. The best advice is to come as soon as you can and begin to build relationships.
Find an Anchor Event
If you are looking for the best time to come, find an event to tie your trip around. There is no shortage of events every night of the week and I've listed a few sites to keep track of.
Galvanize - http://www.galvanize.com
NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center - http://thecenter.nasdaq.org
Startup Grind - https://www.startupgrind.com
Silicon Vikings - http://siliconvikings.com/#about-us
Innovation Disrupted - https://innovationdisrupted.com/
San Francisco Tech Meetups - https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ca--san-francisco/tech-meetup/
2018 Tech Events Guide - https://blog.bizzabo.com/technology-events
Find Someone You Know
The easiest way to get connected is through someone you know --- and LinkedIn is the best way to do that. Use your connections as a first step to building your relationships. Each person you meet will not only provide advice, they will, in all likelihood, provide introductions to additional people you should meet.
See You Soon!
Equally important to the first visit, is every visit thereafter. If you're serious about building a network in the Valley and ultimately finding customers or investment, then you have to visit with a regular cadence. I suggest about 6 weeks.
So --- see you soon!