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My california trip July 2011 part II

Alexander Börve, founder and CEO of iDOC24, tells about his journey to California to promote the company in four parts. Here is part II:

You want to be the best in your field? To be the best and make a thriving company you have to be where it happens!

My journey
My plan is to set up shop with my start up iDoc24- Ask the skin doctor in any device, anytime, anywhere anonymously 24/7, somewhere in California; San Diego or Silicon Valley. The service is simple, got something on your body that you do not know what it is and you are slightly worried; send us a picture with text and you will have an answer from our dermatologists within a couple of hours. The great thing is that we do not know the person that sends in a case to us, you are anonymous! So you guessed it, 35% of incoming queries are on intimate genital worries…. And you can imagine, with thousands of sexually active uninsured geeks in Silicon Valley, my service will probably get a lot of traction right there!

So, the plan is to set up shop in early 2012, get investment and work hard, making it a global mHealth company.

Prepare for your trip- Networking
To meet people use your local network, people who have been there before, who can CC you in any mail to an acquaintance in Silicon Valley. Then you pick up the lead and prepare for a meeting, coffee, lunch or beer. At this stage do not try and do your investor pitch, but do your elevator pitch and see how people react. Then absorb all the free advice and new contacts, which you then follow up- this is how your network grows. That is how I managed to come home with 100 new linked in connections in three weeks.

Investment
Look up any competitors or start ups in the same field. Who have invested in them? Try then to book meetings with the CEO of that company get acquainted and then see if you have a win-win situation and even ask if you can contact their investors or if they can guide you in the right direction.

Although you have to realize that people are spammed in the Silicon Valley, it is not only you who is knocking on peoples doors, make sure that you buy beers, lunch or coffee and thank them in a follow up mail.

You’re on your own
People will share their experience with you and give you advice, but they will not do anything more than that, It is up to you to make any calls, meetings and sort out any follow up connections. The first impression counts, so dress up like everybody else not too over dressed but just plain and nice. People will focus on your weird orange just bought off the shelf Nike shoes (I did that mistake, thankfully expert coach and great connection Teri Dahlbeck advised me on that, I should change into some more subtle attire for any next meeting to make a first good impression).