Gateway to Silicon Valley

Next program: August 21 - 25

We get stuff built

Founders in the Valley enjoy an unfair advantage – they already have the best resources, training, education and network at their fingertips. International founders are just as smart and capable, but it takes time to learn the rules of the game in Silicon Valley.

Gateway to Silicon Valley eliminates that gap for global founders whether you are already here or want come to Silicon Valley, we can get you up to speed so you can start playing on the same field as seasoned locals.

Gateway to Silicon Valley provides resources to build a sound infrastructure

Gateway to Silicon Valley is the most efficient learning tool for your launch in the U.S. With it, you can gain momentum and start to scale without wasting precious time and resources.

  • Connect with 25 to 30 speakers with deep practical expertise on different topics
  • You will have a clear roadmap for launch
  • You will be part of the SVI Academy alumni network
  • Your company stays yours; we require no equity

Create a step-by-step plan to navigate your entrepreneurial journey

Built for international founders and local, early-stage startups, Gateway to Silicon Valley Program is a 5-day program that delivers real-world, actionable steps so you can start and scale right away.

Expect real results:

  • A company that will look hot to investors
  • Readiness to run business development
  • Knowledge of how to close deals and attract more attention
  • A plan to profitably market and scale your business
  • Strategies to overcome legal issues standing in your way!
  • Connections with trusted service providers

Reserve Your Spot

What does the training cover?

In 5 days, you’ll learn the foundations of establishing your business in Silicon Valley, with topics that are customized to suit international founders and new startups. Learn how to break into the national market, legal, the basics of U.S. legal issues, how to incorporate your startup legally, and more.

You will get the tools to put knowledge into practice to ignite growth

Prepare to engage in 5 full days packed with workshops, networking events and live interactive discussions. This immersive program taps into the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is naturally grown in Silicon Valley.

Growth is Silicon Valley’s native language. Expect to grow as much in this one week as you would over months on your own.

Walk away with:

  • A blueprint for your Silicon Valley business infrastructure
  • Practical knowledge to accelerate your go-to-market
  • A network of key players to initiate partnerships, investments and mentors
  • An entire toolkit for how to profitably market in the U.S.
  • A complete analysis of industry trends – straight from the experts
  • Action items on how to secure funding in Silicon Valley
  • Effective strategies to overcome the legal and practical challenges to start a business in Silicon Valley
  • A sound blueprint of best practices to guide you away from business failure

Program curriculum

Our curriculum covers everything from product-market fit; fundraising, operations and marketing to Silicon Valley etiquette, negotiations, and small nuances that make your company look hot for investors.

Our curriculum is designed to replace your concerns and questions with answers and clarity

Our curriculum includes a variety of tracks to help start you on the path to success in Silicon Valley:

Mastering Marketing
Learn everything from basic trends to detailed execution strategies that will accelerate your marketing ROI.

Gain clarity on the legal implications building a business in the U.S. and how to overcome the challenges.

Business Development
Business development is the key to measurable business growth. Understand the basics and more in-depth tools to developing your business in Silicon Valley.

Learn the foundations for fundraising in Silicon Valley, including real strategies for securing funds, and how to build them into your business model.

Promotion is crucial to finding investors and building a presence in Silicon Valley. Get the tools and tricks to master your public relations efforts.
You’ll walk away with a clear blueprint to facilitate your startup or product launch, a book full of notes on how to avoid the most common mistakes, and connections to Silicon Valley experts in 20+ industries.

Leverage the power of the Silicon Valley ecosystem

Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know about our next Gateway to Silicon Valley event. Or reach out to us with any questions. We’re here to help!

Reserve Your Spot

  • Monday08/21/2017
  • Tuesday08/22/2017
  • Wednesday08/23/2017
  • Thursday08/24/2017
  • Friday08/25/2017
09:00 AM


10:30 AM

Silicon Valley Ecosystem and Business Models for Startups

This session offers an overview of the Silicon Valley landscape and what it means to be a startup. The startup business model, its lifecycle and its birth from your idea make it different. Nasre offers comparisons to other models and lessons on getting started in Silicon Valley.

Behzad Nasre
Behzad Nasre
Experienced General Manager
12:00 PM

Getting to Product Market Fit

In this session, you’ll learn how to balance a leanness and agility to get your product organization working as well-oiled machine to deliver the right product to market as quickly as possible. We will cover how to use both qualitative and quantitative measures to ensure that your product is solving the right problem; how to optimize and streamline the way your team designs, builds, and deploys software to your customers; and, how to beat the competition in strategy and execution.

Sam McAfee
Startup Patterns
02:30 PM

Negatiations and Commercial Transactions

This session covers the basics of effective negotiation and best practices that lead to a win-win negotiation. You’ll learn how to negotiate with big merchants, on strategic deals and on license agreements. Finally, this session will teach you best practices in customer transactions and business issues to consider.

Michelle Tsing
Attorney, Advisor, Founder, Futurist
04:00 PM

Legal Immigration Issues

The speaker will discuss key immigration concepts and processes to help you understand and navigate the complex world of US immigration law, especially as it relates to the Silicon Valley tech ecosystem. Topics include OPT for students, H-1Bs for professionals, L-1s for intracompany transferrees, O-1s for individuals with extraordinary ability, E-2s for investors, green cards including EB-1 through EB-5, and more.

Sophie Alcorn
Founder, Alcorn Immigration Law
09:00 AM

Establishing a Startup Right

10:30 AM

Developing a Successful Funding Strategy

In this segment, you’ll learn how to develop a funding strategy appropriate for your startup, including when to raise funds, how much to raise, and from whom. Riaz will also cover how to increase the pre-money valuation of your company and identify relevant milestones. Finally, he will cover alternative funding sources, selecting and gaining access to the right investor and the dos and don’ts of each round of funding.

Riaz Karamali
Counselor and Cross-Border Dealmaker
12:00 PM

Finance, Legal and Operational Challenges of Setting Up Innovative Business in the US- Vera Shokina

This session will discuss the typical issues encountered when setting up a business in the U.S. You’ll learn how to avoid common pitfalls and what to consider before entering the U.S.

Vera Shokina
Managing Director at SVB Financial Group
02:30 PM

How to Growth Hack your Startup

Want to learn the secrets for growth from one Top 10 Entrepreneurs to follow in 2017 by Huffington Post? In today’s crowded startup environment, getting traction as an early stage startup is one of the hardest things to do. In this session, you’ll learn how to attract and engage users, convert users into paying customers, increase awareness for your brand, and find influencers and get noticed.

Rana Gujral
Entrepreneur, Executive, Columnist
04:00 PM

International Tax Issues

This segment offers an overview of taxable presence concepts and discussion of the US-Abroad tax treaty. You’ll learn the types of business entities in the US and advantages and disadvantages of each when there is foreign ownership. You’ll also get a sense of Transfer Pricing principles and intercompany agreements, and taxation of foreign individuals in the U.S.

Jie Zhu
Partner at Petrinovich Pugh
09:00 AM

Successful Marketing for Startups

10:30 AM

Case Study: How to be successful in Silicon Valley

Amanda Bradford
Founder & CEO at The League
12:00 PM

Corporate Innovation Overview

Daniela Busse
Director, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, at Citi Ventures
02:30 PM

How to Leverage B2B Partnerships as a Startup

Jens Weitzel discusses the value of partnerships in this session. He details the leverage a good partnership has for a startup, whether it’s getting your foot through a door or launching a marketing campaign. You’ll not only learn the value of these partnerships but how to successfully secure them and leverage them for your startup success.

Jens Weitzel
Founding Partner at Yabusame Partners
04:00 PM

A Vision of the Future: Disruptions and Opportunities Ahead

Entrepreneurs are the new superwoman/superman in this turbulent future. Accordingly, for governments, nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem is essential to economic success. Status quo is only a path to the dust heap of history. This keynote offers a peek into the future by exploring some of the disruptive technologies and the resulting opportunities.

P.K. Agarwal
CEO and Regional Dean at Northeastern University
09:00 AM

Financing Options for Startups

10:30 AM

Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan can be daunting for entrepreneurs. The process seems complex, and many people have never seen a business plan before. This workshop demystifies the process by outlining a logical sequence for creating a business plan. You’ll learn how to think through each aspect of starting your business and compile them into a document that offers both clarity and vision to you and your investors.

Naeem Zafar
CEO of TeleSense, Entrepreneur, Educator, Author
12:00 PM

Creating a Powerful Branding Strategy for your Startup

What’s in a name? This course takes you through the ins and outs of what's at stake in your company or product name and strategies to craft a great name and an inspiring brand behind it. You’ll learn what makes a name successful and how to identify opportunities to stand out against competitors. And you’ll get the nuts and bolts of brand development, including concrete steps for building a strong brand foundation for naming and common naming pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Lynn Nichols
Naming & Branding Expert, X Intellectual Property
02:30 PM

Startup Valuation, What is Your Startup Worth?

Have you ever wondered what your startup is worth? If you are a startup that is looking for help in determining the value of your startup, this presentation will be extremely valuable. Jeff will discuss what valuation models to use in the early stages, mid stages and late stages for both option grants and raising equity. He will run some actual models; Cost Approach, VC Method, Discounted Cash Flow and model the impact that funding rounds and their various terms and preferences can have on the common stock values.

Jeff Faust
Director, Valuation Services at Abbott, Stringham & Lynch
04:00 PM

Design Thinking for Marketing Strategy

Michelle Killebrew
Senior Marketing Executive, Digital Transformation, Marketing Technologist
09:00 AM

IP and Operations

10:30 AM

How to Make Your Startup Look Hot for Investors

In this session, you will dive into the details of marketing your company to investors. Pavel Cherkashin will take you behind the scenes of what investors look for in companies and help you understand how to get there.

Pavel Cherkashin
Managing Partner at GVA Capital
12:00 PM

Startup Lessons from Garage Ventures

Silicon Valley icon Bill Reichert from Garage Technology Ventures will offer some invaluable insight. With over 20 years as an entrepreneur and two public companies, Bill’s resume is quite impressive, and he’ll candidly share his successes, roadblocks and learnings from his time working with startups.

Bill Reichert
Managing Director at Garage Technology Ventures
02:30 PM

Pitch Perfect Top 10 Tips for an Investor Pitch

This session covers what it takes to create a successful pitch to investors. You’ll learn to develop your "what do you do" story and the opportunity that goes with it. You’ll understand how to identify the "problem" and why it really matters to real people. And, you’ll find out how to explain your "big idea" that solves the problem like nothing else.

Roy Terry
Principal Consultant at Executive Presence Now
04:00 PM

Pitch Perfect Top 10 Tips for an Investor Pitch

This session covers what it takes to create a successful pitch to investors. You’ll learn to develop your "what do you do" story and the opportunity that goes with it. You’ll understand how to identify the "problem" and why it really matters to real people. And, you’ll find out how to explain your "big idea" that solves the problem like nothing else.

Roy Terry
Principal Consultant at Executive Presence Now