Thanks to our partners at American Airlines, MassChallenge made a transcontinental journey earlier this month to spread the word about the great things our startups are doing here in Boston. For one week, Scott and I saw the best of the West flying from Los Angeles to Silicon Valley to Dallas in search of interesting opportunities, game-changing ideas, and potential partners. Its a big world out there in entrepreneurship and innovation, and if theres one thing we learned, its that the MassChallenge model never fails to inspire and amaze, from coast to coast.
First we headed to Los Angeles, with its vibrant digital and new media scene and its robust Silicon Beach startup community. We met with top talent agencies CAA, Paradigm, and UTA and were treated to a tour of Rob Dyrdeks Fantasy Factory. From celeb sightings (Ashton Kutcher! Kaitlin Olson & Rob McElhenney – see left!) to sightseeing on Rodeo Drive to accidentally becoming extras in a show taping on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, we truly felt exposed to the diversity and craziness of what LA has to offer.
Our next stop was Mountain View, where for two days we mingled with a passionate and inspired crowd at the Social Innovation Summit. Our partners at Microsoft hosted the conference, which featured a truly impressive collection of minds and missions. The focus never wavered from making the world a better place. We celebrated technologies, programs and ideas – everything from innovative ways to practice corporate social responsibility, to using Skype to connect classrooms across the world, to teaching girls in low-income communities to code.
We capped off our Western adventure at a Startup America event hosted at the international headquarters of American Airlines in Dallas, where we met some of Texass most dynamic entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts. Scott Case from Startup America and friend of MassChallenge Steve Case helped tell the story of Texas innovation, and folks from Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas shared their ventures and inventions.
We met a lot of interesting people and made a lot of new friends on our Western tour. What we saw out west has bolstered our confidence that the MassChallenge model is special and that our startups are the best in the world and were excited for what 2013 will bring.