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Opinion and Insight
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Riding Silicon Valley’s Highway 101 with BETC’s Antoine Clemenceau

BETC Paris, 8 months, 2 weeks ago

BETC Startup Lab supervisor reflects on time at the Google Expert Summit

Riding Silicon Valley’s Highway 101 with BETC’s Antoine Clemenceau

For a little over a year now, BETC’s Antoine Clemenceau has been one of 228 people worldwide to take part in the Google Expert Program, as a marketing / communications expert. It aims at helping entrepreneurs through acceleration weeks called Launchpad. Every year the Google Expert Summit, a two-day seminar about Google products, is held at the Googleplex, in Mountain View. Antoine tells LBB about his trip through the world of tech and startups that is the Silicon Valley. 

As you may know, the number 101 is often used for courses for beginners. It is also a highway – US 101 – that runs north-south through Washington, Oregon and California. 

It is literally the Silicon Valley’s backbone: the biggest tech companies are distributed along the highway – Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle – in that order, going up from Cupertino to downtown San Francisco. As a freshman in this ecosystem, I would follow the 101 on a road-trip into the Bay area.

I experimented with the Google way of life for two days: Googlers, Google-bike, free-Google-food, Google-car, and even a Google-T-rex. There, the mantra seemed to be “there’s a Google-thing for that “.

Next stop was Y Combinator, the most famous seed accelerator in the world, having brought us Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit, to name a few. I was expecting to learn their magic recipe, yet it seems that their only secret is to push entrepreneurs beyond their limit for a three-month sprint (or marathon, depending on where you stand). And then I headed towards my final destination, downtown San Francisco, the end of the road. 

So here’s my startup 101 lesson: time and passion are the main assets for entrepreneurs, so whatever you do, do it fast and intensely!

Antoine Clemenceau is a supervisor at BETC Startup Lab. @aclemenceau