The Tour

Experience innovations, latest technologies and digital transformation with your company during an industry-specific, guided and individual tour in Silicon Valley.

Services

Get to know innovations, disruptive technologies and the effects of digital transformation during a guided Silicon Valley tour: individual and industry-specific. We create and organize a program tailored to your needs and accompany you with passion to Silicon Valley. Let yourself be inspired to create something new.

Inspiration

Let yourself be inspired by the vibe of the “Silicon Valley” hotspot and its pioneers.

Disruption

Learn how established companies master the challenges of the “innovator’s dilemma” and recognize disruptive innovations.

Innovation

Learn about the importance, effects and components of an “Innovation Ecosystem” and understand why Silicon Valley produces innovations on the assembly line.
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Technology

Develop a deep understanding of the latest technologies and learn to assess their impact on your business
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Corporate Branding

Change begins with visibility. On request, we can create photo and video material from your Silicon Valley trip.

Networking

Get to know the unwritten rules of Silicon Valley and expand your network continuously.

Team Building

Shared experiences connect.

Digital Mindset

Internalize and understand the thinking and working methods of global digital thinkers.

Our services:

Individual needs assessment

Creation of a travel concept tailored to your needs

Organization of the trip (incl. overnight stay and transfer on location)

Accompaniment in Silicon Valley

On-site workshops

Final reflection workshop after the return

We develop an individual concept for your Silicon Valley trip

A tour through Silicon Valley is probably the best way to make digital transformation tangible: we learned how this unique ecosystem works and what “innovation” really means in intensive workshops, at meetings with startups & tech companies, corporate VC programs and countless stations with Philip & his team.

Elsa Kling

Chief Digitalization Officer (CDO), ChangeX

We have met and got to know many industry insiders at various stages of value creation and product development. The tour started with the development of an idea at Berkley University and ended with the tech giant Google in the VR area. All stops on the tour made us understand the Mindset of the Silicon Valley better and inspired us strongly for our own work. We are even still in contact with many startups and were able to exchange knowledge. The organisation of the tour was first-class throughout. Thank you very much!

Philipp Wilhelm

Key Account Manager, Deutsche Messe AG

Due to his expertise and his worldwide networking in the areas of “Startup & Entrepreneurship”, Philip was instrumental in organizing and implementing these tours on site. The feedback from the participants was excellent and the sustained enthusiasm and inspiration has not diminished to this day. Formats like these have enormous potential to fire your own mindset as well as your own ability and ideas towards innovation, technology and networking. I can fully recommend this experience to anyone involved in founding, innovation, startup, technology or transformation.

Bastian Herrlich

Digital Consultant , T-Systems International GmbH

A formative experience. Very well organized tour with great friendly atmosphere and a tight and very exciting program – a good mix of startups and big players, where we never had the feeling of a sales event. The intensive exchange during the barbecue was also special.

Nikolaus Schlüter

Head of Digital Transformation, FoxByte Industries

travel itinerary

The detailed program of this year’s Prop-Tech trip (November 9-13, 2018) will be published soon. Here you can see an exemplary itinerary from the past tours:

1st day

The first day of the tour takes us to the places where innovation, start-ups & the technological future begins: from leading universities and research institutions, the inspiring co-working spaces to the heart of the startup and entrepreneur community in the heart of Palo Alto, the birthplace of Silicon Valley. We meet German emigrants, hear moving life stories and get to know the unwritten laws of Silicon Valley in workshops. We learn how we can sustainably network with the Silicon Valley ecosystem in the long term and what makes the Californian mentality so uniquely successful. After a few refreshing drinks in a typical Californian coffee bar we visit Sand Hill Road – one of the most famous venture capital hotspots worldwide with offices of world-famous VCs like Andreessen-Horrowitz, Sequoia Capital and Silicon Valley Bank – the birthplace of many start-up entrepreneur dreams. With countless new impressions, inspired ideas and a lot of new energy we end the day with a dinner and are looking forward to the second day of the tour.

2nd day

The second day of the tour begins with a tour bus ride to fast-growing Silicon Valley tech and hardware companies. On our way there, we pass the garages and dorm rooms where global corporations were founded decades ago and hear the stories that made Silicon Valley the world’s leading tech hotspot. When visiting digital tech companies and fast-growing companies, we learn about the strategies and corporate values with which radical innovations and digital products can be developed, what contribution the growth-promoting start-up ecosystem of Silicon Valley makes to this and how we too can transfer the underlying basic principles. With refreshing drinks and typical Californian power food we review the impressions of the morning and reflect our experiences in the group. In intensive workshops with thinkers and visionaries of the international tech scene, we then learn which technologies redefine our business and working environment, how we can evaluate technological innovations and ideas and assess their effects on our professional and private future. In discussions with decision-makers in Silicon Valley, we relax and end the evening with dinner and look forward to the coming days.

3rd day

Creativity needs space and time. Therefore, on the third day we will do one thing above all: give ourselves the time to let the collected impressions have an effect on us. The day therefore begins with a typical Californian yoga session in which we revitalize body and mind. During a late breakfast together we strengthen ourselves for a relaxed surf session in the afternoon, a relaxed shopping tour or a hike through the valleys around Mountain View. In the evening, the famous “Stanford Dish” – a profiled running course over the hills around Palo Alto and the planetarium of Stanford University – will be open to all sports aficionados. We end the evening in a group, reflect together on our experiences of the past days over a glass of Californian wine and look forward to the last two days of our adventure trip.

4th day

Day 4 takes us to some of the most successful think tanks, company builders and VCs in Silicon Valley. We gain insights into the success factors of new ideas and companies, understand the thinking, evaluation and working methods of (corporate) VCs and get to know the methods, working methods and strategies with which Californian tech companies and startups change the world in intensive workshops. In discussions and intensive workshops, we learn up close how established companies revitalize their corporate DNA in cooperation with hackers, digital talents and spin-offs, lead employees and successfully develop, fathom out and scale innovations. After a refreshment in one of the regular pubs of the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs, we visit selected startups scouted for the companies of our participants. We get to know the founders, their motivations and life stories, learn about application scenarios of the latest technologies and exchange information about our experiences in specific industries. Together with some of our new friends we stock up on typical American nachos and plenty of popcorn in the evening and end the evening with a NHL game of the legendary San Jose Sharks.

5th day

The fifth and last day of our tour takes us on the freeway through the dense traffic to San Francisco: we pass the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, take some photos on Lombard Street and take a quick look at the city’s sights on the way to our next stop. We then visit companies, visionaries and start-ups working on the key technologies of the future of our industry and test the latest technologies up close. Afterwards we use the lunch break to check e-mails in one of the hottest coworking spaces in the metropolis, have talks with coworkers and strengthen ourselves with California Rolls for the next day. Excited by the numerous impressions and enriched with interesting contacts of the past days, we look back on inspiring days at a joint barbecue on the last evening in the world’s leading tech and innovation hotspot and exchange ideas with some of our newly acquired friends and representatives of the regional startup scene over cool drinks and snacks. We return to Germany with countless new ideas and reflect on our experiences and results in a joint reflection workshop a few days after arriving in Germany.

Impressions of the last tours

For us, Silicon Valley stands for a uniquely ambitious, easy-going spirit, unlimited possibilities and world-changing technologies. Silicon Valley attracts ideas, talent and capital like no other region in the world and determines technological development worldwide.

Together we travel to the place where our future is defined, learn what makes Silicon Valley unique and how we can adopt the innovation mentality and combine it with our own strengths.

– Philip Mertes, founder silicon-valley-tour.de

For us, Silicon Valley stands for a uniquely ambitious, easy-going spirit, unlimited possibilities and world-changing technologies. Silicon Valley attracts ideas, talent and capital like no other region in the world and determines technological development worldwide.

– Philip Mertes, founder silicon-valley-tour.de

Newsletter

“Inside Silicon Valley” – The newsletter with the latest news on the latest developments and technology trends in Silicon Valley.

FAQ

How does a Silicon Valley Tour work?

All Silicon Valley tours are individually planned and designed for your company or group – we do not offer a standard tour. In small groups of 4-15 participants we experience (usually) three to five consecutive days together the world’s leading technology and innovation hotspot Silicon Valley: from San Francisco via Palo Alto to San Jose we visit renowned universities and research institutions, hear founding stories in typical Silicon Valley garages and network with exciting personalities, decision-makers and insiders. We understand the success factors of Incubator and Accelerator programs, meet (corporate) venture capitalists and discover the latest technologies of fast growing start-ups and leading companies. In numerous intensive workshops we learn what makes Silicon Valley so unique and how we can combine the Silicon Valley mentality with our own strengths. The program is rounded off with cosy BBQs, (optional) surf courses and authentic Californian Morning-Yoga sessions. 

In order to consolidate the experiences and learning contents in the long term, we reflect on our experiences in a joint final workshop a few weeks after our return.

What services does an individual tour include?

First, we discuss your expectations and goals with you in a personal meeting. We then plan and organise a tour tailored to your needs and industry (including accommodation and transport on the tour days; excluding flights and catering) and accompany you on site as a competent partner. The program is rounded off on site with numerous workshops and reflection units in the group. 

To ensure that the experiences and learning contents are also consolidated after arrival at home, we reflect on our experiences in a joint final workshop a few weeks after our return.

What results can we expect from a tour?

In numerous intensive workshops we learn what makes Silicon Valley so unique and how we can combine the Silicon Valley mentality with our own strengths. 

  • Inspiration: Be inspired by the vibe of the Silicon Valley hotspot and its thought leaders;
  • Corporate Innovation: Develop how you can use various corporate venturing and open innovation strategies to bring targeted innovations into your company and how you can awaken creativity, inventiveness and entrepreneurial thinking in your employees and colleagues;

    Learn about the importance, effects and components of an “Innovation Ecosystem” and understand why Silicon Valley produces innovations on the assembly line and with which approaches you can do so;

  • Disruption: Learn how established companies master the challenges of the “innovator’s dilemma” and recognize disruptive innovations;
  • Technology: Develop a deep understanding of the latest technologies and learn to assess their impact on your business;

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    Corporate Branding: Change begins with visibility – on request we create high-quality photo and video material from your Silicon Valley trip for internal transformation processes and an externally effective staging of your activities;

    Networking: Get to know the unwritten rules of Silicon Valley and expand your network continuously;

    Team Building: Connecting shared experiences;

    Mindset: internalize and understand the thinking and working methods of global digital thinkers;

    Fun: exciting days in one of the most beautiful places in the world, palm trees, water, sea & BBQs. Rounded off with (optional) surfing and yoga sessions, an infectious “gold-rush atmosphere” and rousing people.

In order to consolidate the experiences and learning contents in the long term, we reflect on our experiences in a joint final workshop a few weeks after our return.

Do you also offer the planning and execution of tours as a "White-Label-solution" for management consultancies, associations, media houses and companies?

Yes and please do not hesitate to contact us.

In which language will the tours be conducted?

We offer our Silicon Valley Business Tours in German or English. If required, we can also translate into other languages.

Do we have the opportunity to get to know each other in a personal meeting and talk about the requirements before the tour?

I’d be happy to! We firmly believe that planning an individual tour also works with a good online briefing, during a phone call or a Skype interview. The most important thing in a conversation, however, is to hear THAT, which is not said directly. We therefore recommend our customers always a personal discussion before you book a Silicon Valley Tour.

Will we also visit startups?

As passionate supporters of the start-up scene, we know how important focusing is for startups and growth companies. In Silicon Valley, the world’s most talented people are working to redefine their own and the future of the world as we know it today. It is therefore of great concern to us not to claim the time of the founders with mere “start-up tourism”. Our goal is rather to sustainably network people and companies. We only visit start-ups if their technologies, products and services are really interesting for the visiting company and the industry and if getting to know each other can be an added value for both sides. To find out, we hold detailed discussions with the founding teams in the run-up to the tour.

Is there a fixed travel period?

All tours are individually planned and conceived for existing groups. The travel period depends on your (and our) availability.

Is there a waiting list for individuals?

Yes, please contact us using the contact or enquiry form.

What travel documents/visas are required for a business trip to Silicon Valley?

A valid, machine-readable passport is required for entry into the United States. An identity card is not sufficient. The passport must be valid for at least another 6 months from entry into the USA.

Nationals of 22 countries of the European Union (including Germany) can enter American territory without a visa. You therefore only need to apply for the entry permit ESTA (“Electronic System for Travel Authorization”) online. Although the majority of applications are generally approved within a few minutes of their submission, it is advisable to allow 72 hours for data processing. It is important to know that in the event of rejection, a new application can only be made after 10 days, provided that the above requirements have been met. So please apply for your ESTA entry permit in good time. Further details and the application form can be found on the Homepage of the US Embassy.

Do you also offer tours to Europe?

On request we also accompany customers on Innovation & Technology tours to Europe in individual tours.

How can I book the Silicon Valley Tour?

Please contact us for your Silicon Valley Business Tour via the Request form or via the Contact page.