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Moving to Silicon Valley?  Read the top 11 takeaways from our Silicon Valley Survival Program

Every Founder dreams of coming to Silicon Valley. But once they get here, what do they find? A high stakes, high intensity environment where everyone is the best of the best. People who were big fish in their small hometown ponds, suddenly find themselves in a sea full of other big fish. Rather than see this as discouraging, the most successful entrepreneurs see this as just another challenge that they can overcome by working hard.

So how can you be the next big Silicon Valley success story?

Our Silicon Valley Survival Program is designed to equip you with the tools necessary to be just that.

It can take weeks, months, or even years to crack the code to the Valley. However, our intensive one week program lays the foundation of the best entrepreneurial practices and methodologies to launch a global startup. You will be inspired by the most disruptive startups and tech companies, and gain actionable know-how to apply to your projects.

Jan 29th — Feb 3rd, students from ESCP Europe’s Executive MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation joined us at Startup Basecamp HQ to see if they have what it takes to survive in Silicon Valley. Over the course of the week, we got the inside scoop on accelerators, VCs, startups, and more mature tech companies, even the view from inside the ivory towers.

We heard from all different perspectives on what makes the Valley unique, and how to find success. (Watch our journey here.)

Here are the 11 greatest takeaways from the week:

1. Know when to quit and how to pivot: “Great entrepreneurs never give up, but they quit often.” — Steve Hoffman, The Captain @ Founders Space

2. “Most startups don’t fail because of the lack of money, but because of the lack of figuring out the core business.” — Steve Hoffman, The Captain @ Founders Space

3. “Out of the $59 Billion invested by VCs in 2015, $27 Billion was spent in Silicon Valley alone.“ — Carlos Diaz, General Partner @ The Refiners

4. “People want to help you here. All you have to do is ask.” — Chris Haroun, Founder/Partner @ Haroun Education Ventures

5. “Immigration is the lifeblood of Silicon Valley” 50% of founders are international — Carlos Diaz, General Partner @ The Refiners

6. If you can do what you’re doing at home, then stay there. Only come to Silicon Valley if you absolutely can’t do what you’re doing anywhere else. — Stefano Pepe, Founder/CEO @ UniquID

7. A lot of people look at VC funds as entities and forget they are made up of individuals. Remember they are real people. Do your homework and find a way to connect with them. Oh, and “Have fun. Get shit done.”Tristan Pollock, Partner @ (500) Startups

8. “All startups are an experiment in psychology”, Abhinai Srivastava, Founder & CEO, Mashgin

9. “The number one job of a founder is to increase optionality, maximizing the number of choices you have. First get profitable. If you’re solving a real problem for a group of people, why not ask them to pay for it? Unlike investors, they won’t ask for a piece of your company in return, and you get the money to do what you want to do.” — Armando Biondi, Founder/CEO @ AdEspresso (AdEspresso was bought by Hootsuite last week! Congratulations to Armando and the whole team!)

10. “The best product is not always going to win.The best combination is product and distribution” — Armando Biondi, Founder/CEO @ AdEspresso

11. Live the dream! “A startup shouldn’t be painful. It should feel like an adventure!” — Steve Hoffman, The Captain @ Founders Space

For more fun and inspiration, check out our daily videos below or here.

We had a fantastic time hosting the crew from ESCP Europe, and look forward to welcoming the next cohort for our Silicon Valley Survival Program, and learning even more! Visit to learn more about our programs and how Startup Basecamp can help catalyze your entrepreneurial journey.

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