Category: Success Stories

Volkswagen sees opportunities, competitors in Silicon Valley

Google, Tesla and much else besides; as a fast-track into the world of disruptive, auto-industry tech, a one-day immersion tour of Silicon Valley was just the tune-up  Volkswagen Ireland needed. For the top executives and dealership heads who made the visit, it was an eye-opening experience. Concepts once abstract were suddenly brought to life: artificial intelligence, automation and the sharing economy all came together. A look at what competitors are up to didn’t do any harm either. Startup engagement was also high on the agenda. Like many global corporations, Volkswagen is grappling with digital transformation. Looking to partnerships with early ... Read more

Lasers and Apps: the Future of Smart, Shared Transport

Transport will become increasingly social and autonomous; that was the key takeaway for top South Korean executives following a one-day immersion tour of Silicon Valley with SVIC. The tour group hailed from GS, a Seoul-based conglomerate with subsidiaries in the energy, retail, manufacturing and logistics sectors. One of the challenges now facing the conglomerate’s leadership is to get to grips with autonomous vehicles. GS is especially interested in understanding their value in supply chain operations. Silicon Valley proved to be a rich source of information and inspiration. The executives’ tour shed light on a number of fast-developing areas in the world ... Read more

Going Digital: Talent Unleashed Award Winners See Tech Disruption From All Angles

For the winners of the 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards, a trip to Silicon Valley was the most fitting of prizes. As a diverse group of entrepreneurs and business leaders, the eight honorees were right at home in the California tech hub. They hailed from across the globe: Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the UK and the US were all represented. Each one of them had come through several rounds of competition. Nominated in categories like “best startup” or “most disruptive digital leader”, their challenge had been to impress a panel of judges which included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack and entrepreneur ... Read more

Going Customer-Centric: FinTech Lessons For Dimex Capital

Customer centricity, focusing on the right customers that drive most profits, is one of the strategies embraced as a mission by the most successful Silicon Valley companies. One of our 2018 clients, Dimex Capital from Mexico, came to Silicon Valley to learn how to enter new younger markets  – a challenge that is hard to overcome without going customer-centric and working closely with customers who have the most lifetime value. Dimex is a leading lending institution in Mexico, having over 100 branches and employing 1600 sales contractors around the country. Dimex’ target consumer is above 55 years old, though the ... Read more

Innovation in Retail and Telecoms: Vodafone Visits Silicon Valley

If you come to Silicon Valley for business there’s no reason you can’t mix in a little pleasure.  That was exactly the agenda for Vodafone in March, as it sent a group of its top retailers from across Europe to the world’s startup capital for a look at the latest developments in retail and telecoms innovation. But the group wasn’t just there to work; Vodafone also wanted them to enjoy themselves, with the trip something of a reward for a job well done. That’s why they made sure to find time for a little “tech tourism” in the form of ... Read more

Three Ideas On How To Modernize A Legacy Manufacturing Business

Transforming a large manufacturing business is impossible without deploying an array of automation and logistics innovations, such as robotics and artificial intelligence. It is also unimaginable without startup scouting, a practice of partnering with young and fast-moving companies to make innovation happen faster. All these things were on a checklist for a group of Sonepar executives who visited Silicon Valley Innovation Center in September 2017. Sonepar is a French manufacturer of electrical parts and products with a history that spans 45 years across 44 countries. If you have an old refrigerator or a vacuum cleaner at home, there’s a good ... Read more

Five Trends Among Millennial Job Hunters in 2018

Here at SVIC we recently gained a huge amount of insight into the employment preferences of the millennial generation. This came about thanks to a tour of Silicon Valley we hosted  in early April for 73 master’s degree students from the Madrid campus of ESCP Europe, the elite business school founded in Paris in 1819. The average age of the group which joined us in northern California was twenty-five years old; they are all studying for qualifications in subjects like digital marketing or business project management. The students were eager to see up close how companies are run today in ... Read more

Four Fintech Trends Threatening to Disrupt Legacy Banking

The impact of technology on financial services continues to be one of the biggest areas of growth and discussion in Silicon Valley and beyond. Fintech, as the sector is collectively known, encompasses a wide range of practices and ideas, each of which is threatening to legacy banking in its own way. Key Fintech trends on the horizon include greater use of artificial intelligence in everyday banking, more investment in blockchain projects and growing digitalization of financial services and back office operations. We had the chance to learn more about these developments last month, when SVIC hosted a tour of Silicon ... Read more

Fertile Plains of Innovation: Discovering AgriTech in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is undoubtedly a place where any company can find innovative, technology-driven solutions to its thorniest problems. That is just as true for enterprises from the agricultural sector as from anywhere else, although the tech mecca has traditionally not been associated with breakthroughs in farming in the same way it has for many other industries; transport (Uber, Tesla), travel (Airbnb) and e-commerce (Amazon, eBay) being perhaps among the most notable examples. Yet for CBH, Australia’s biggest exporter of grain, a trip to Silicon Valley turned out to be hugely worthwhile. The organization had approached us at the Silicon Valley ... Read more

International Vitamin Corporation On a Problem-Solving Mission to Silicon Valley

At Silicon Valley Innovation Center (SVIC) “success” does not simply equate to selling a client a tour of Silicon Valley. What it actually comes down to is creating a tour which enables them to find solutions to the major challenges they face in their business. Outcomes of that sort come about not as a matter luck but rather as a result of a painstaking investigate process which involves working closely with our clients in order to elicit a clear articulation of the problems they want to solve. An example of how this works can be seen in the case of International ... Read more