Ntegra’s 23rd US Research Tour in partnership with Bird & Bird commenced on Monday 20th May with a “Perspectives Day” hosted by Silicon Valley Bank. The morning session explored how to be truly innovative before hearing from VCs and carefully curated portfolio companies in the afternoon.
Many thanks to Gerald Brady from Silicon Valley Bank for hosting the Ntegra delegation and for sharing his insights on Silicon Valley and the bank’s AI strategy. Our day was framed with a keynote from Mark Zawacki of 650 Labs titled “Rethink Everything”. Ntegra’s Jon Ellard shared Ntegra’s approach to Technological Innovation using “The Curve of Technological Innovation” and “The 9 Personas”.
Thanks to Craig Hanson from Next World Capital for an informative Q&A session and the CyberMentor Fund. Presenting companies included Redmarlin, Calypso, tray.io, Outlier.ai and Undefined Labs.
Feedback from the delegation was very positive for both a thought provoking and informative day. We finished the day with drinks at Silicon Valley Bank, followed by a walk into Palo Alto for dinner where we were able to reflect on what we had learned so far.
For the second day of the 2019 Ntegra US Research Tour the delegation headed into San Francisco where we were kindly hosted by Salesforce. The day began with a “breakfast with a view” on the 61st floor of Salesforce Tower and a tour of the floor along with the views! A quick walk across the street then took us to the Innovation Centre at Salesforce East where Jo-ann Olsovsky, Salesforce CIO, gave us a talk on “Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Theresa Ludvigson, Senior Director, Global Onboarding then presented on “Technology + Culture = Innovation & Employee Engagement”.
In the afternoon, we had presentations from a wide variety of start-ups from the portfolio of Intel Capital in the data collection. These included AEye, Ayar Labs, Avaamo, CloudGenix and GenXComm. We completed the presentations by taking a short trip to The VAULT, an incubation and co-working facility, where Bill O’Connor talked about the Innovation Genome project.
We would like to extend special thanks to Salesforce for hosting us for a very special visit and to everyone who presented.
Wednesday marked the halfway point of the Ntegra 2019 US Research Tour. We were delighted to be hosted by Deena Shakir and Cissy Hu from GV (previously known as Google Ventures). We heard about the values of GV and received overviews about a wide selection of their portfolio companies. Our visit continued with presentations from Tamr, Obsidian, FaunaDB and SambaNova.
In the afternoon we headed to the prestigious Faculty Club at Stanford University. We heard from Tamara Carleton, CEO and Founder of the Innovation Leadership Group and Continuing Studies Instructor who took the delegation through 3 Horizon Scanning, the Curve of Ambiguity and the Growth Mindset. This was followed by Professor Michael Shanks who talked about developing cultures of learning. By special arrangement we also held a student panel where 5 students talked about the start-ups they had been involved with, their aspirations for the future and life as a student at Stanford. Following on from the success of last year’s Executive Panel, Jon Ellard chaired an Executive Panel and was joined by Gerald Brady of Silicon Valley Bank, Timothy Eades, investor and CEO of vArmour, Bill O’Connor of the Vault and Alex Fielding, Founder and CEO of Ripcord. Among other topics there was much discussion on innovation in large enterprises, finding hiring and retaining talent and building culture.
The afternoon ended with a walking tour of the campus, taking in the award-winning ME310 student design loft, d.school creative spaces, and the campus bookstore. Special thanks to all our presenters, executive panellists and very special thanks to the student panellists!
Day 4 of the tour was a VC day with the delegation visiting both Lightspeed Ventures and Greylock Partners for a full day of presentations from portfolio companies. Presenting companies included FotressIQ, Dremio, Blameless, Elastifile, Anyvision, Testim, Abnormal Security, Cleo, Demisto and InCountry.
As well as hearing from the portfolio companies we had insightful discussions with partners from both Lightspeed and Greylock on VC funding and how each VC approaches investing. Many thanks to Saqib Awan at Lightspeed and Cyrus Pinto from Greylock for hosting us today and to all of the presenters.
The day finished with an End of Tour Dinner at the Stanford Park Hotel. This gave the delegates the opportunity to share thoughts from the week so far before we head into our final day.
For the final day we headed to our old friends at Sequoia Capital where we were hosted by Jeff Pashalides and Austin Quarles. Their hospitality was faultless as was the quality of the portfolio companies who presented. Following an introduction to Sequoia for our delegates who were visiting for the first time, we had presentations from UiPath, Confluent, Armis Security, Ironclad and Figma. It’s always great when it’s less presentation and more discussion as you get to find out so much more and we had plenty of discussion! Many thanks to Jeff and Austin for hosting us and to all presenting companies.
Sequoia was the last visit of this years research tour, and as always they showcased a high calibre of portfolio companies, which this year included Armis, Confluent, Ironclad and Figma. The class of 2019 will be remembered for being one of the most friendly, engaging and curious we have ever had. Combined with the breadth and quality of content made this tour very special and one we will all remember for a long time. Our delegates now take their learnings and new levels of awareness back to their organisations to drive forward their respective agendas with enthusiasm, insight and innovation.