Each year, Silicon Valley business leaders take a trip to the UK in a successful program known (unsurprisingly) as Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK). Now the European Commission is arranging the reverse – sending leading European Union tech companies and policy-makers to Silicon Valley to encourage closer ties between the two regions.
That may seem a little unnecessary seeing as how individual European founders can frequently be found on planes to San Francisco, but Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) has the potential to build bridges between the US and EU’s tech sectors.
Indeed, there’s something in this for both sides. “(The) EU needs Silicon Valley to help create economically impactful and long-lasting ecosystems where innovation can flourish. Silicon Valley needs to align EU policy makers in order to tap into a significant market,” as the organizers put it.
The week-long trip in September will begin with a ‘European Innovation Day‘ in Mountain View that will cover topics such as co-operation between the EU and US, the EU Digital Single Market and EU ‘unicorns’.
The delegation will then take part in several days of meetings with American companies such as Facebook, Google, Uber, Airbnb and Apple; investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis, Greylock, Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator and 500 Startups; academics from Stanford, Berkeley and Singularity University; plus public officials including San Francisco’s mayor and US CTO Megan Smith.
SEC2SV has been organized by Mind the Bridge as part of the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative. A call is currently out for EU-based ‘scale-up’ tech companies to apply to join the delegation.