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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.

Nexus

We are very happy to announce that we published the second Nexus Newsletter today!

The FHNW International Student Projects Insight ChinaFocus IndiaconnectUS, and exploreASEAN have created a corporate newsletter to share the highlights of the onsite seminar.

Fifteen years ago, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) pioneered with International Student Projects (ISP). The ISPs are organised by students for students, which enables more students than ever to travel abroad and get first-hand experiences as well as insights in what we did this year.

We hope you will enjoy reading through the Nexus Newsletter.

Boston – Day 2

Swissnex

Today the connectUS 2016 delegation was warmly welcomed by Swissnex at their office in Boston.

As an introduction Jonas Brunschwig briefly explained to us the unique characteristics of the vibrant ecosystem especially for entrepreneurs in Boston. With over 300 universities it is a huge pool of talents. Jonas refered to Boston as Athen of higher education. This makes it also very attractive for startup companies as well as for venture capitalists.

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Furthermore the Consul Dr. Felix Moesner gave deeper insights into the mission of Swissnex. Their overall mission is to connect dots, mainly between public to private partnerships. The areas they focus on are education, innovation and research. Through hosting as well as in participating in selected events like the New York Fashion Week or the MIT Career Fair, they want to strengthen Switzerlands reputation as a center for science and innovation.

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After a short coffe break we could enjoy two presentations about entrepreneurship which enriched our knowledge with new perspectives we didn’t hear so far.

Martin Steinmann, Managing Partner of SteamFab Ventures, told us about his perspective of the differences between Switzerland and the US business culture. He talked about seven variables that are crucial when starting a startup in the US: Culture, Financing, Market Size, Test for Demand, Team, Commitment and the Legal Framework. Especially he pointed out that a good preparation is key, as failure matters and is not easely forgiven by venture capitalists.

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The last presentation of the day was hold by Patrick Anquiel, PhD, CEO of Portal Instruments. He shared his personal success story in the field of life sciences with us which represents his formula for entrepreneurial success: Select a huge market, define a clear value proposition and have a defensible IP.

His presentation ended with a quote of Steve Jobs: “You can only connect the dots backward“.

MIT

In the afternoon after lunch Jonas Brunschwig gave us a tour through the MIT and showed us the most important places.

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Cambridge innovation Center and Venture Cafe

At the end of the day the connectUS delegation had the great opportunity to visit the Cambridge Innovation Center and got a tour through the location. The CIC supports the entrepreneurship community in Boston. In the end we could join a real life networking event at the Venture Cafe.

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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.