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Day 7 – Boston

Today we had our first day in Boston!

Swissnex Boston

Dr. Felix Moesner, the CEO and Consul of Swissnex Boston welcomed us at their office in Cambridge. He told us that networking is essential and you should prepare yourself for every single event. After the introduction of Felix Moesner, Jonas Brunschwig and Francesco Bortoluzzi – both are Swiss –told us some facts about Boston, Cambridge and the US. There are 75 colleges and universities as well as 265’000 students around Boston. It is actually the world’s leading life science cluster.

MIT tour

We had the pleasure to see some buildings of the MIT and get an insight from Jonas Brunschwig. With his deep knowledge of lots of secrets of the MIT campus, the tour was a blast! Through walking around the campus, we could feel the spirit of entrepreneurship and wanting to achieve more.

CIC & Venture Café

After having lunch at the campus of the MIT, we went to CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center). This is a company who provides workforce spaces for other companies. So, you can rent some space in their building and get a great network, especially for start-ups. Firstly, we got a short presentation of the mission of CIC and afterwards we got to see the different work spaces provided by CIC.

The Venture Café is inside the building of CIC and is thought to be a networking place. Today, there was an event with lots of business people and we had the chance to talk to them in a comfortable atmosphere.

Swiss Re

Pascal Marmier from Swiss Re spoke about digital analytics catalysts and the satelite office of Swiss Re in the CIC building. It was very interesting, why a reinsurer company has made an office in Boston. The reasons are vast, but the most important reason is that Boston is the Innovation Hub/generator. Lots of new ways are developed by start-up on how data can be used to evaluate risk. An important business/skill a reinsurer needs, therefore it is essential to be right next door where these innovations are happening.

Wrap up San Francisco

The Bay Area – The place where innovation comes from.

No matter what company we visited in San Francisco or the Silicon Valley, we always had the impression to have arrived in the future. Either a company’s product, business model, process or employees seem to strive for innovation. We were lucky enough to be given the chance to get firsthand insights into various companies. Furthermore, we also learnt a lot about the Silicon Valley ecosystems, as well as its engine – the Stanford University.

The first day of visits and kickoff of our on-site seminar started with the visit of DocuSign. Their basic service is a cloud-based platform to read and sign contracts online wherever you might be in the world. Of course, they are constantly thinking about new features and therefore it is no surprise that DocuSign recently introduced a new service that also includes payment. The mindset of constant product and service improvement is something we discovered in all our visits. Right after DocuSign we headed to Swissnex San Francisco. After a general introduction into Swissnex we were able to learn how they support Swiss startups that want to succeed in the U.S. Since the Bay Area is the heart of new technologies and innovative thinking this part of Swissnex is really attractive and a lot of startups take advantage of it. In general, there is a huge number of startups in that area, what also leads to even more untouched ideas. The last visit of that day was at the Microsoft office located in San Francisco downtown. It was fascinating to see how many Microsoft products each one of us uses on a daily basis without even realizing. This requires a great ability of evaluating, which technologies have a chance in the future.

After a sunny weekend and some sightseeing, we travelled to the roots of innovation – the Silicon Valley. Once we arrived there everyone thought that we took the wrong highway exit, because it looked like a totally normal living district. After the visit at the Swisscom Outpost and their introduction into the Valley, we found out that pretty much everyone who visits SV has a similar first impression as we did. Furthermore, we learned a lot about the development of the whole Silicon Valley and its “founder”. Nowadays this place is an own eco-system that is the engine of new technologies and innovation in general. This is also why companies like Swisscom decide to open an outpost over there. In the afternoon we had the unique chance to visit Microsoft again, but this time at their office in the Valley (Mountain View). Learning more about artificial intelligence (AI) and experiencing the “HoloLens” is something none of us will ever forget. It was unique to get the opportunity to explore one of these futuristic technologies.

On Tuesday, we had our last visit in San Francisco. The company Xamarin, that was newly acquired by Microsoft, hosted us at their office in the city center. Hearing something about their history and reasons to sell themselves to Microsoft was definitely an added value to our stay in San Francisco. Even more fascinating and special was the Q&A with the founder and CEO of Xamarin.
To learn firsthand what it needs to successfully lead a company and which skills are required to be a good entrepreneur, was an absolutely enriching and unforgettable experience.

Interested to read more about our visits? Here our daily blog entries:
On-Site 2017

Our next stop is Boston, where we will further expand our minds and explore more companies where we will get an impression about the difference between the west and the east coast.

The last words are dedicated to all these people that enabled us to make that unforgettable experience. All of them did that next to their regular tasks and we highly appreciate their great efforts. Thank you!

Gold Partner: MAN Truck & Bus Schweiz AG

Please welcome our new Gold Partner „MAN Truck & Bus Schweiz AG“

They offer a wide range of products such as trucks, transport and urban buses. Moreover, they provide services for the whole area of utility vehicles.

Read more about MAN on their website: www.truck.man.eu

Gold partner: W. Thommen AG

With pleasure, we want to introduce our gold partner 2016/17: W. Thommen AG

W. Thommen AG is a family business based in Switzerland. They plan and realize buildings and structures as well as provide construction management for third parties. Lastly, they also assist their customers with real estate management services and consulting.

Find out more about W. Thommen AG on our partner site and on their website: www.wthommen.ch

Platinum partner: AUTEXIS

We warmly welcome our platinum partner 2016/17: AUTEXIS (Automation Excellence & Intelligent Solutions)

AUTEXIS is a company that plans and realizes automation solutions. Furthermore, they provide IT as well as mobile solutions to get you up-to-date for the industry 4.0. Their main goal is to find the right and best solution for your requirement.

Find out more about AUTEXIS on our partner site and on their website: www.autexis.com

PR-Team on board!

Crowdfunding platform online!

Dear visitor,
As this years theme is „Innovation is the new black!“ the project team is eager to find new ways to carry connectUS to a new level. For the first time in the history we implemented a crowdfunding platform. Help us to make it a success.

We really appreciate your donation!

https://www.funders.ch/connectus2017

Welcome to connectUS 2016/17!

We are proud to have the honor to continue this prestigious project.

Join us on our journey and become a part of connectUS 2016/17.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Your connectUS Project Team 2017
Noël Meschi, Raphael Civatti, Julia Bachmann, Simon Marti

projectteam17