Boston – Day 1

This morning our day started early with a four hour bus ride to Boston.

Pixability

In the afternoon we had our first company visit in Boston at Pixability. The company with its offices in NY, San Francisco, Chicago and the only EU office in London was founded in 2008 out of the MIT. Pixability is a video advertising company for premium platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube with around 70 employees.

Bettina Hein the founder of Pixability is an entrepreneur originally from Switzerland and welcomed us in their new office in Boston.

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„Anyone can be an entrepreneur“ was the message of her inspiring presentation where she was talking about the recipe for being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to stick to the three principles of „Naivité“, „Chutzpah“, „Perseverance“.

Bettina Hein finished her presentation with a Q&A session with the connectUS delegation which was really helpful for delegates that intent to become entrepreneurs themselves. There is a typical saying in Boston which is important for prospective entrepreneurs: „You have to go to where the puck is going, not to where it is now.“

New York – Day 5

Consulate General of Switzerland in New York

The Swiss Council André Schaller welcomed connectUS at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York and talked about his personal success story as well as the duties of the Swiss Consulate in New York City. Furthermore he explained to us how Switzerland is being perceived by Americans as one of the most innovative and competitive countries in the world.

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Afterwards connectUS heard two interesting speeches. The trade commissioner told us about the importance of the US as a trading partner for Switzerland as the US is its second largest export market. He also shared with us how Swiss companies are valued as high quality and innovative. Therefore Swiss companies operating in America are very valuable to the economy as they provide high level jobs.

wordpress-9323Continuing with the last speaker Michael Smith who is a Swiss-American entrepeneur. He shared his experience of enterpreneurship and start-ups both in the US and Switzerland. His top five learnings are: there is more than one way, just do it, don’t be afraid to fail, be a connecter and last but not least don’t be humble.

UN Headquarters

In the afternoon the connectUS delegation had the chance to visit the UN Headquarters in New York city with a guided tour.

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After the tour the delegation was introduced to the principals of the UN with its Global Compact program via a private UN HQ briefing by one of the leading project managers. All the principals they promote today are still based on their core values; maintaining peace in the world, retain human rights and support sustainable development. The Global Compact program offers companies the opportunity to support the UN’s sustainable goals and help tackle important issues and receive some recognition as an additional incentive.

New York – Day 4

The Wallstreet Experience

After having one day off, we started the forth day in Wallstreet to understand the roots, history and importance of the former financial district in New York.

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John our tour-guide showed us the most representative buildings and explained why they used to be very important for New York and whole America. As a matter of fact most of the buildings in Wallstreet are no financial institutions anymore and are used now as museums, housing or shops for example. To fit the current needs of the financial sector, with all its new technologies, most of the companies are located in Midtown nowadays.

Finally John stated that history had a huge impact on the geography of New York. Manhattan, Manna-hata (many hills), has its name because it used  to be a hilly land but the more the city grew, the more it was made flat.

The tour ended with a short trading game where the delegation could make their own experiences as traders.

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NYU Incubators

The second stop today was at NYU Incubators where Alex Goldberg explained to us the role of a venture capitalist. As an Investor he has to decide which startup companies he will support with financial resources. There is a big number of factors he has to take into consideration, as for example the team behind the company, the strategic intent, the execution risk, the market conditions, the supporting network of the company as well as the stage.

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One very interesting aspect he mentioned was the DNI of a company. There are for example unicorns, that want to establish something new and unique in their market environment like for example Airbnb or Huber. These companies can be seen as Pioneers or Gamechangers. Then there are also so called Early Exit companies, which are established with the aim of being successfull and then sold in a few years.

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After his presentation, the delegation had the chance to see two pitches of two absolutely different startups operating in different markets and which also are in different stages.

Lary Wilmore late night show

In the afternoon we had the great chance to see the recording of the late night show of Lary Wilmore. It was a hilarous and exciting experience all delegation members enjoyed a lot.

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New York – Day 2 & 3

Today we had the chance to explore New York with some sightseeing.

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First stop was the the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Liberty Island that we reached by ferry. On the way back we went to Ellis Island with its Immigration Museum featuring the Wall of Honor.

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The second stop we made was at the Empire State Building which its really impressing view from the 86st floor.

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Tomorrow the delegation has a day off until we meet at 5 pm at Madison Square Garden to watch a basketball game.

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New York – Day 1

Today our journey in New York begun with a sunny day! The connectUS delegation had time in the morning to rest from the long journey and explore the city by their own and at 12AM we all met to heading towards the subway station and to the first company visit in Brooklyn.

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Column Five

Column Five is an award-winning visual communication agency located in Brooklyn, New York, which is specialized in data visualization, infographics, motion graphics and social media marketing.

On of their most DSC_8763testpopular produced campaign was the „Child of the 90s“ ad for Internet Explorer and its „Browser You Loved to Hate“ campaign. The video went viral within four days and received over 4.2 million hits.

Their starting point is always to fulfill the needs of their customers, why they always ask a lot of questions when starting a new project. To identify the aims they want to achieve and are able to come up with a tailored solution that really suits the needs of the customers target audience.

The strength of Column Five lays in their ability of storytelling. With their new apporach of transmitting thoughts through proposing interesting visiual form of content they had a huge impact on companies operating in publishing and advertisment and can thus be seen as a true game changer.

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Delta Airlines

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The second company connectUS visited today operates in the airplane business. Before starting their presentation they granted every delegation member the chance to express which questions and expectations they have from this company visit. Therefore the presentation could be adapted and really cover all areas the participants where interested in.

New York City is still nr. 1 most flying city of the world, what explains why they are based here. It represents the center of finance and is the connection to other financial capitals as well and their base for their network. In the airplane business having a well connected network is the most important value they can propose to their customers, especially to business travelers.

DSC_8783testAdditionally they informed us that New Yorkers are really comitted with their community, that’s why Delta also really involves themselves a lot on a daily basis with their commuity.

Trust and commitment also suits with their company culture and core values. Eventhough ist a huge company they care a lot about every eployee. The core values of the company rely on the fact that they believe that delta is a community that cares for each other like family. If their employees are happy, this will result in a professional approach towards their customers, which will lead to finally high Returns to their share holders.

Hardrock Cafe

In the evening the connectUS delegation met in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at the time square to have a joint dinner and while away the day.

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San Francisco


Only 3 days left until we are heading to the U.S.!


The last city we are going to introduce to you is SAN FRANCISCO and we are really proud of it since it is the first time in the history of connectUS that a project team could manage to bring the delegation to the west coast!

San Francisco, with its famous cable cars (in the picture below), is located in the state California and is right on the pacific. San Francisco is known as the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California and is at the same time the smallest city within the state California.

San Francisco

A highlight for the whole project is of course Silicon Valley which is located at the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Silicon Valley is home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations like Apple, Google and Facebook as well as of thousands startups. Therefore we are really excited to go and visit there some great companies like Youtube, Mozilla, Zynga and of course the outpost of Swisscom.

Another great opportunity we got is to visit Swissnex again in San Francisco and we really look forward to it.

The members of the delegation could decide if they want to participate in a guided city tour or a visit to Alcatraz to get some closer insights and spend some leisure time in San Francisco.

If you are interested in getting some more and detailed insights into our project and the On-Site trip check our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be updated.

Boston

Only 4 days left until we are heading to the U.S.!

The next city we would like to introduce you is BOSTON, the second city we are going to visit in the U.S.

On the 23 of March we will leave New York City and are heading northeastern towards Boston where some great companies and a city with some important historical background is awaiting us.

Boston is the largest city in New England and is the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston is well known for its historic background since it was the scene of several key events during the American Revolution further is Boston known for its important port and manufacturing hub, as well as a center for culture and education. Some of the highly ranked university worldwide are located in the area of Boston like the Harvard University or the MIT.

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Swissnex a network relied on public and private funding is an outpost devoted to connect Switzerland and North America in science, education, art and innovation. Swissnex Boston is welcoming us and organized some great stuff for us. Since Swissnex Boston is the networks first location it has a pioneering status and fits therefore perfectly in our pioneering road to success.

A further highlight in Boston before we are heading to the next city is the company visit at Reebok from the Adidas Group.

If you are interested in getting some more and detailed insights into our project and the On-Site trip check our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be updated.

New York City

The countdown starts – only 5 days left until we are heading to the U.S.! #excited

The first city we are going to visit is NEW YORK therefore we would like to introduce you to the city and give you some insights into our program.

New York City is the most popular city in the U.S. and probably one of the most popular cities worldwide with its 8.5 million inhabitants it is located in the south eastern of the State New York.

New York City is not just a great city to get some insight into several interesting and important business – furthermore, we will also have the chance to do some sightseeing by visiting the most important monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Besides that we got the great possibility to watch a basketball game and a late night show which will give us a great insight into the American culture.

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But since we are not there for doing only sightseeing and just enjoy ourselves we want to highlight out also some points regarding our project. On Monday, we are going to have the opportunity to go to Wallstreet and get a once in a lifetime experience of it. In the afternoon we are going to visit the Venture Capitalist Alex Goldberg.

Another highlight in New York is the visit of the UN Headquarters and the Swiss consulate.

If you are interested in getting some more and detailed insights into our project and the On-Site trip check our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be updated.

Spotlight – Delegation Members 2016 – Part 3

connectUS 2016 would like to introduce you to the last six members of the delegation of this year’s edition. They all have participated actively during the Preparatoy Seminar and are joining us to the onsite trip to the United States in March.

Spotlight – Delegation Members 2016 – Part 2

connectUS 2016 would like to introduce you the next six members of the delegation of this year’s edition. They all have participated actively during the Preparatoy Seminar and are joining us to the onsite trip to the United States in March.