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On the final day of the Future Worlds 2023 cohort’s trip across the San Francisco Bay Area, the UK founders had the opportunity to tour the campus of one of the world’s largest tech firms: Google.

After a week of learning from fellow founders and major investors, along with pitching their companies at Thursday’s networking event, the tour of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View was a welcome and relaxing change of pace.

It was a fitting way to cap off the trip, with the world-class amenities and extravagant works of art across the campus providing entrepreneurial inspiration to the founders from Southampton.

The Future Worlds founders, now returned home, will look to take what they learned in the global tech capital and channel it towards building their own startups.

Having picked up some buzz from investors in the Bay and received scores of advice from successful tech founders, the Southampton companies will now be focusing their efforts on growing their companies from early-stage startups to tech titans.

A crash course in Silicon Valley startups

It was a non-stop week in the San Francisco Bay area for the Future Worlds 2023 founders, crammed full of tours, workshops and meetings. They visited the San Francisco Werqwise office to hear from its founder, along with Southampton alum and Mevolution founder Sarah Deane, to discuss founder resilience.

They toured the campuses of UC Berkeley and Stanford to learn how to transform leading research into world-class startups. The group visited Skydeck and Plug and Play to see what support is available for growing startups. And they heard from top tech lawyers at Wilson Sonsini about navigating legal issues as a business.

In their time in California, they heard from British founders about what it takes to do business on the West Coast, from investors on what makes a good pitch, and from industry veterans on handling the pressure of running a tech firm.

Reflecting on the week, Tamara Ivancoa, founder of EV bike disruptor Amara Automotive said: “I think the week was super interesting because we got to see so many different sights. Every day you’d get a completely different kind of person speaking to you.”

Ivancoa added: “It showed me there’s so much diversity in the mindset of how they approach startups.”

Describing his experience in the valley, Dr Martynas Beresna, co-founder of drone maintenance company Asterium, said: “Here the feeling is [that] if you have a good idea, they will be open to you, because if they see the potential, then they will be open.”

Beresna added: “There is no culture here saying, ‘you are not local, we won’t do business with you’. The culture is ‘what is your idea’? If it’s great we will figure out how to make this work”.

The Future Worlds accelerator, part of the University of Southampton, arranged for a UKTN reporter to follow its 2023 cohort on its trip through Silicon Valley.

The trip included founders from Amara Automotive, Asterium, evtonomy, Journally, LZero and MicroVita.