Ultrasonic imaging entrepreneur and founder and CTO of Novosound Dave Hughes, is among a select cohort of UK tech entrepreneurs heading to Silicon Valley next week (9th April) to meet with the business leaders and venture capitalists behind some of the Silicon Valley’s biggest and most successful tech businesses.
The annual, week-long global leadership programme was started by WeAreTheFuture founder Bruce Walker when he was just 19 and counts a growing number of successful alumni among its ranks.
Among last year’s cohort was Scottish EDGE winner Cameron Graham, founder of care management software company Storii Care, who secured a pitch in front of Californian venture capital firm Sequoia Capital after participating in WeAreTheFuture’s Silicon Valley Accelerate programme. Previous cohorts also include Chris McCann, founder of medical technology firm Snap40, who in 2016 won the largest ever tranche of seed funding in Scotland.
Participants in this year’s Silicon Valley Accelerate programme will benefit from meetings with Scottish-born entrepreneur Duncan Logan, known the “Unicorn finder” from Rocketspace, as well as Priya Rajan, early-stage startups specialist at Silicon Valley Bank and Sara Hall, a marketing expert who counts Waze and YouTube among her portfolio.
The Silicon Valley Accelerate programme now continues under Leith-based startup FutureX, Walker’s latest venture with fellow cofounders Adam Purvis and Zoi Kantouatou. Together the trio are on a mission to build a better world through business, bringing more to their entrepreneurial leadership programmes than the opportunity to exchange business cards with a who’s who of global tech giants.
Purvis and Kantounatou have long advocated purpose-led entrepreneurship as not only the most ethical way to run a business, but the most profitable – injecting a refreshing take on entrepreneurial leadership to FutureX events and programme design.
FutureX Cofounder Zoi Kantounatou said, “With our Silicon Valley Accelerate programme we’re doing much more than introducing up-and-coming tech entrepreneurs to American business leaders. Previous alumni of the programme have gone on to secure millions in seed-funding, not just because of their ideas, but because of the kind of positive leadership skills and emotional intelligence they gain from sharing learning and resources with their peer startups. It’s our job to set the tone on these programmes so that alumni leave not just with a pile of business cards, but with meaningful contacts and experiences that will shape the trajectory of their business decisions long into the future.”
With FutureX’s next flagship event Impact Summit almost sold out and two more CEO journeys planned for Berlin and Nepal this year, the team is raising entrepreneurs expectations about what they can get out of entrepreneurial leadership programmes, while providing a unique international network for some of the UK’s most promising startups.