When startups and corporations collide
The Fab Force Corporate Summit was founded on the idea of bringing our corporate partners to our office to meet our dynamic and innovative startups. The purpose of Orange Fab is to be a platform both startups and corporations can leverage to foster meaningful engagement. That means we want the effects to last after the event is over. Ideally, in the form of some kind of collaboration between our partners and startups. This year we took a whole new approach -- more intimate, strategic, and focused -- in an effort make sure that happens.
The event kicked off with a keynote address from the ever-informed Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley. He walked us through all the ins and outs of current tech trends from the latest IPOs to the boom in voice UIs. We then dove into 3 focused presentations on the biggest trending topics: AI, blockchain, and VR/AR technologies. Adam Kell of Comet Labs took us through the latest in AI and how it’s changing tech in the Valley and worldwide. Up next was Dan Morehead from Pantera Capital and what’s going on with funding in blockchain. A particular area of interest was Bitcoin, which he described as a “serial killer” that will change virtually every category of business. Last but not least was Tipatat Chennavasin with a great status update on VR/AR technology. His presentation was optimistic, focusing on sweeping progress made in just a short span of time thanks to smartphones. But, he cautioned on the proverbial tech rush, saying, “jumping to B2C because it's accessible is a misstep for AR. Value needs to be proven in enterprise first.”
After hearing all the latest juicy tech news, part of our new Summit structure was to break out into focused sessions over the next day and a half. We gathered our partners based on their areas of interest in small rooms for them to hear presentations on industry trends from our Orange Silicon Valley Council leads and their carefully hand-selected speakers. The partners had 7 different Councils to choose from, spanning Content & Media, Logistics, Fintech and more. Each Council brought some serious firepower in terms of guest speakers. Some of the most notable presenters included representatives from Facebook and Oculus, R3, Salesforce Ventures, and Bosch Ventures. (Of course, you’d know that if you were following us on Snapchat that day.) This new setup of only 6 - 12 people in the room garnered meaningful discussions back and forth among our teams, the partners, and guest presenters.
Our initial feedback so far is the change in setup was a welcome one. Attendees and speakers alike have given glowing accolades. I am very anxiously awaiting to discover which of our esteemed partners and savvy startups will run off into the sunset holding hands, but only a week has passed. (What can I say, I’m a romantic.) True, we at Orange Fab are fans of possibilities -- but we’re also patrons of purpose.
Check out our photo reel of the best looking bunch in the biz:
Photos by Colson Giffith. He's rad; you should check him out.