Thanks to the partnership between Talent Garden and Google for Entrepreneurs, in January Tommaso Migliore of MDOTM, a startup based in our campus Talent Garden Calabiana, was selected to attend Blackbox Connect #20, a two-week immersion program in Silicon Valley dedicated to company founders based outside of the US.
MDOTM develops AI-driven investment strategies for global financial markets and was the only fintech startup selected for the program.
We had a chat with Tommaso and asked him about his experience at Blackbox Connect. Here are the interesting insights he shared with us!
1. What did you set out to achieve in the program?
When the program application came out, I knew it would have been a great chance to confront with the thriving start-up ecosystem that is the Silicon Valley. I left having two goals: meeting with industry experts and investors to challenge and boost our business model and building solid relationships with the elite entrepreneurs from all around the world. Last but not least, one of the main reasons of joining the program was to get a better understanding of the US market, both for financing and business opportunity.
2. Can you briefly describe the activities you did?
The two weeks spent in San Francisco featured lots of heterogeneous yet complementary activities, from speaker sessions to interactive workshops, with the common aim of sharing insights about how to overcome the challenges of scaling a startup to a global reach. Besides, I also had the opportunity to get one-on-one coaching session, fine tuning our sales pitch and value proposition, and finally to present in front of a group of selected investors.
3. Which was the most interesting aspect of the experience? What did you learn from the other entrepreneurs?
Participating to Blackbox 20 has been an invaluable experience that has given me the chance to embrace and decode the Silicon Valley mindset from the inside, which is that Vision, People and having a Differentiator are the three main factors in start-up success.
The most interesting aspects of working with other entrepreneurs was understanding how each one of us approached and solved all the different problems in building a startup; in particular, being one of the few B2B model startup in the group, helped me to look at the obstacles that we are facing from a completely different perspective.
4. In which way did the program impact on the vision of your business?
I like to say that the best takeaway from this experience is: bigger – faster – better.
Participating at Blackbox has deeply transformed the way in which I envision my business growth and scope in the next few years and I realized how important it is to always have a very ambitious vision and to think big on a global scale. The feedbacks I received from industry leading experts, successful founders and investors have helped me a lot to redefine my organizational culture and value proposition while maintaining our identity, and on the other hand, to clarify what are the necessary steps to scale up faster the business.
5. Which are your short-term projects?
Strengthen by this experience in the US, we have built strong foundations and a software infrastructure that will allow us to scale quickly our processes, and I know that my team has the right energy to face the next challenges that lie ahead. We have further expanded our team of talented people to accelerate the R&D department and closed out strategic partnerships with new institutional clients. We are now working to close a capital raise to accelerate our global expansion and sales network, setting up offices in London and further along the way in New York.