Monday, September 12, was the European Innovation Day (EID) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

Although the museum is not open on Mondays, we had access to a few of the exhibits, like the one about the IBM 1401, the awesome PDP-1 (Creating the Hacker Culture), and autonomous vehicles (and yes, of course, I go into a Google driverless car, and took a selfie).

But the reason why we went there was not (only) to see the museum but to participate in the EID event.

In the morning the selected EU scaleups pitched their companies to a big group of Silicon Valley investors (from Google, Twitter, Samsung, Microsoft, Delta, Sky, etc) in a closed-door invitation-only event. They asked me to present Kanteron Systems the last because we have such a powerful story. And as a matter of fact, right after the pitch, I had investors from all over (USA, China, India…) talking to me and scheduling follow-up one-on-one meetings.

After a lunch break, we went into the auditorium for a packed session of talks. The roaster of speakers was top notch:

  • The keynote was by legendary investor Tim Draper
  • Paul Timmers, Director DG Connect, European Commission, talked about EU Policies
  • Betsy Masiello, Senior Director, Uber; and Melissa Blaustein, Allied for Startups, discussed Tech & Entrepreneurship vs. Policy in the EU
  • Rashmi Gopinath, Microsoft Ventures; Deepak Jeevankumar, General Catalyst Partners; and Michel Wendell, Nexit Ventures, discussed SV investors
  • Alberto Onetti, Mind the Bridge, introduced the very interesting research paper “EU vs. US_: A deep analysis of exits from Mind the Bridge/Crunchbase_”
  • Lutz Finger, Quantum Physicist & Director Data Science & Data Engineering, LinkedIn; and Giovanni Iachello, Head of International and Data Products, LinkedIn, talked about The skills and economic graph
  • The Women 2.0 panel was formed by: Elizabeth Gore, Dell; Jessica Butcher, Blippar; and Camille Sailer, European American Chamber of Commerce; moderated by Nora Poggi, She Started It
  • How EU corporates are cracking Open Innovation” was discussed by Ernesto Ciorra, CIO, Enel; Prith Banerjee, CTO, Schneider; Giovanni Loser, Former GM, Illy Caffé; Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, COO, Airbus-SV; and Moderated by Henry Chesbrough, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, “the Father of Open Innovation”
  • Krysten Jenci, Director, Office of Digital Services Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce; Audrey Plonk, Director, Government and Policy, Intel Corporation; moderated by John Miller, Vice President for Global Cybersecurity Policy and Law @ ITIC, discussed Perspectives on Privacy, Security & Data Flows
  • Willem Jonker, CEO, EIT Digital, talked about turning EU research into business
  • The “colorful note” was the panel titled “Startup heavens in Europe”, formed by Mikk Vainik, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Estonia; Francisco de la Torre Prados, Mayor of Malaga, Spain; Penny Harwood, London & Partners; moderated by Burton Lee, Stanford University
  • Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit DG Connect, European Commission closed the sessions

Nonetheless, the best part of all was to talk and network with all speakers and some other VIP guests afterward.

It was, definitely, quite an intense day.