Fight back if a Mountain Lion attacks and other things I learned during a recent trip to Silicon Valley

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Richard Barry and I were fortunate to be able to exhibit Polymorph at the Wearable TechCon with kind support from the dti. I learned the following:

1. The dti Export Marketing & Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA)

The intention of the dti’s EMIA program is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into South Africa. It requires a lot of paperwork. But a successful application allows for the largest part of an overseas exhibition trip (including the exhibition itself, subsistence and travel) to be claimed back. This makes it worthwhile to explore opportunities for overseas business. More detail here.

2. We are experts at building apps, but not necessarily at exhibiting

We had limited time and funds to put together our exhibition stand. Enter Dianne Makings with extensive experience in putting together exhibitions large and small. She assisted in putting together handouts and making the most of the stand within the time and funding constraints. Polymorph’s creative team performed excellently in putting together pamphlets, portfolios, case studies and a video. We are already planning how we can make our next exhibition better.
For more info on Dianne Makings, feel free to contact me.

3. Speak to the speakers

We found that speaking to the speakers of the sessions proved the most valuable in terms of meeting interesting people.

4. Silicon Valley is a lot like Stellenbosch (only with a lot more people)

Silicon Valley may seem overwhelming, but in the end it is only a larger collection of people doing their best working for companies. (Some small and some large, some successful and others pretending to be.) I also found a similar general tendency to be helpful and collaborative as in Stellenbosch but even Silicon Valley have the “build my idea for free then I give you 10% equity” characters.

5. Fight back if a Mountain Lion attacks

Don’t forget to sight-see. We saw Tim Cook seeing of some visitors at 1 Infinite Loop, a driverless car near the Googleplex but the highlight was test driving a Tesla. We also came upon the information sign above. I found it amusing.