I bought a €1000 return ticket Gothenburg- LA including a car rental for a week, since my first stop was San Diego. The first thing I did when I landed was to find a store that sold Pre-Paid mobile telephone cards. I got a T-Mobile one month pre-paid all you can eat subscription for $70: Unlimited calls, text messages and data. I set my Google maps location and drove to my first meeting with Dermlite, which was in Orange County on my way down. A good hour meeting, no deals, just they know who I am now and I made a good first impression. Next stop my motel in San Diego ($80/night), and settled in. I contacted my Swedish host Tomas Hagenfeldt who showed me around San Diego and also helped me meet all different kinds of useful people for setting up business, like lawyers, angels, VC, and other start ups. I paid a $90 fee to go to a San Diego VC meeting and there I met with investors who referred me to people in the Silicon Valley where I heading up week after. I also met with a Swedish start up already present in San Diego Great Connection, who are into the transfer of ultrasound images via mobile telephones
I was also introduced to Erik Nowacki who heads the Swedish consulate in San Diego. The consulate offices also house the Swedish American Chamber of commerce (SACC), who has trainee students working on promoting Swedish business in San Diego. I also met up with SACC in San Francisco, and Innovation Norway who were also very helpful connecting me with people.
During the day I would have a lot of meetings, then in the evening I choose my new hub, where I would want to meet people and “pitch” my idea to the people on the street. I chose an upmarket restaurant bar called “Sear sucker”, which was right in the Gas Lamp district. The place had a big bar, so I would place myself there and order some beer and take a treat from their menu. After a couple of minutes you were making small talk with the person next to you: “where are you from?” I told them where I was from and why I was there and did my elevator pitch to see their reaction. This scenario would go on all evening and all week! A great way to meet people and get a feel for your concept to US market. Be prepared that people will not like it and only look for problems, like how not to get sued….
Alexander Börve Founder and CEO of iDOC24