Access Silicon Valley Programme
Please note this programme is not running at the moment
Silicon Valley is home to the most unique innovation ecosystem in the world today driven by a distinctively entrepreneurial and collaborative culture that captivates the imagination of entrepreneurs & tech startups from across the globe.
By the numbers:
- The Valley is home to more than 100 listed technology companies with a market value exceeding $1bn (Unicorns);
- Combined, these companies are worth some $2.8 trillion (an increase of 75% over the past 3 years), and account for around 6% of all corporate America’s corporate profits;
- Silicon Valley’s startup ecosystem is 6x larger than NYC, 9x larger than London & 13x larger than Berlin;
- There are an estimated 30k startup companies in Silicon Valley;
- 2015 saw a staggering $77.3bn invested in more than 8k rounds of funding across the US;
- Silicon Valley absorbs 43% of the total US share of all Venture investments and 30% of the global share of early stage investments;
- $33.9bn of capital was invested through 1,963 deals in 2015 in Silicon Valley;
- As a region, Silicon Valley is the world’s 19th largest economy.
Enterprise Ireland can help you and your company navigate your way to success in this unique and exciting market.
About Access Silicon Valley Programme
The Access Silicon Valley (ASV) programme is designed to fast-track innovative Irish technology companies who are targeting Silicon Valley and San Francisco – the leading start-up ecosystem for high-tech innovation and development in the world.
This programme aims to support you to:
- Confirm product/market fit for your company for US entry via San Francisco/Silicon Valley
- Understand the speed and scale required to compete in the marketplace
- Assist in gaining customer traction
- Develop tangible strategies for market entry plans relevant to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco marketplace
- Validate and identify key sales and partnership targets
- Understand the business/cultural differences of the marketplace
- Develop your pitching and presentation skills
- Understand the necessary growth capital required to scale in this market and create jobs in Ireland
You will benefit from:
- Participating in an intensive three-day Bootcamp in Dublin
- Gaining access to one-to-one US industry-relevant mentoring
- Working with an assigned mentor, closely aligned with your market sector, to develop a tailored 10 day itinerary to Silicon Valley. This will include introductions to relevant industry contacts, insiders and experts who will provide you with valuable feedback on the potential of your product or service to the valley marketplace
- Having the opportunity to leverage Enterprise Ireland’s significant industry network in San Francisco to deepen your relationships in the market
- The opportunity to connect with other Irish companies who have been successful in Silicon Valley and learn from their experience
- The opportunity to participate in information sessions delivered by local experts on corporate structuring & formation, talent acquisition & retention and navigating the US legal frameworks.
The programme will be delivered by US Market Access Centre (USMAC) who are part of the San Jose State University Research Foundation. USMAC have developed and delivered similar programmes over the last 17 years assisting technology companies to enter the US market. To date they have worked with over a thousand companies from more than fifty countries around the world. The USMAC programme curriculum has been endorsed by The Kauffman Institute, and USMAC have a strong working relationship with RocketSpace in San Francisco, an incubator for high-growth, seed-funded technology start-ups and corporate open innovation programmes.
Now entering its 7th successive cycle, more than 100 Irish companies have successfully completed the Access Silicon Valley programme with business results from these companies including;
- Development of a clear market development strategy for Silicon Valley
- Engaging prospective customers that have resulted in new contracts
- Establishing a physical presence in the Valley;
- Obtaining US angel & venture funding to create opportunities to scale
- Appointment of key business development executives to drive future market growth
What past participants say about the programme
- This programme helped us achieve more business and traction in 10 days than we could have achieved anywhere else. We had the opportunity to meet with customers, gain market insight, meet investors and grow our market place in San Francisco. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone who is interested in expanding their company into San Francisco" . Jayne Ronayne/Helen Flynn–Konnectagain.
- ASV gave us the perfect platform to meet with customers in our largest market, get to know some amazing people and soak up the Silicon Valley culture. Working with Enterprise Ireland and the ASV team prior to and during the programme meant that we hit the ground running when we arrived and were able to maintain that throughout the entire two weeks. It would have been much harder without this support. The trip helped us validate some key assumptions around our business model and where we should be focusing our efforts. As a result we’ve since moved our growth team to San Francisco, are currently part of 500 Startups and are on track to more than triple our revenues this year. On a personal note, I also got to meet some great people that are super smart and work incredibly hard. Learning from them has been invaluable as our company has grown. I think it’s a smart choice for any technology company founder that believes their early adopter market is in the US, or that there may be strategic reasons to have a presence there either now or in the future. Robert Fenton, Founder & CEO, Qualio.
- The biggest benefit is to the founders themselves, which has a knock-on effect on the direction of the startup. It opens up your minds as founders to a world that is pure scale. You return to Ireland with a different mindset, one that's more aggressive in terms of scaling your business and funding it appropriately to match that level of scale. We secured an angel investor from Reddit into our seed round and more, a start to our network in San Francisco/Silicon Valley. We're back in March now again and going in with connections on the ground for what we need to get done. I'd strongly advise anyone to take this chance if you're lucky enough to get it. Ross O'Dwyer, Director & Co-Founder.
What is involved?
Access Silicon Valley consists of three phases:
Phase 1: Competitive Interview Selection Process – Dublin
You will be asked to complete an in-depth online assessment to evaluate your product or service offering. If your application is successful, you will be required to deliver an in person pitch to a format with the focus on explaining what your technology does for US Mac and EI in Dublin to secure your place on the programme. The information gathered on your company through Phase 1 will ensure that the content of the boot camp is designed to meet your specific needs and level.
Phase 2: Bootcamp - Dublin
You will participate in a three day intensive and interactive bootcamp delivered by USMAC. The bootcamp will focus the unique corporate culture of Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Content includes business model validation, pitch perfection and generating meetings with potential prospective customers, partners and/or investors. You will have the opportunity for ongoing one-to-one US relevant mentoring sessions with the USMAC Team to help you apply the learning from the bootcamp to your business. You will be observed pitching prior to and during the bootcamp and benefit from perfecting your pitch which will be an element in assessing your readiness to progress to the US-based Phase 3.
Phase 3: 10 day tailored US Itinerary to Silicon Valley/San Francisco
Companies who are selected to progress to Phase 3 will undertake three elements:
- Post bootcamp mentoring
- Development of a Mission Statement for US Itinerary
- 10 day tailored US Itinerary
Post bootcamp mentoring: Companies will be matched with an industry-relevant US based mentor for a 6 week period following the bootcamp. Some mentoring sessions will take place remotely at a time suitable to both the participant and assigned mentor. These sessions will help the participant prepare relevant marketing materials and plan out the itinerary and meetings for their US visit.
10 day US Itinerary: During your two-week US visit, USMAC mentors, using their extensive network in the US, will work with you to schedule a number of meetings with relevant industry contacts. You will also have the opportunity to pitch at a networking event and obtain feedback on the pitch and on meetings attended. Incubation space will be provided for the duration of your visit.
Enterprise Ireland’s team in Mountain View will work with the participants to ensure the programme delivers maximum benefit.
Am I eligible? Who should apply?
The Access Silicon Valley Programme is designed for Irish Technology companies who are developing a specific US West Coast (Silicon Valley/San Francisco) market entry strategy.
What level of funding is available?
Enterprise Ireland will fund 80% of the overall programme participation leaving a cost to participating companies as follows:
|Phase 1 & 2||The fee for phases 1 & 2 will be €600 (this fee will cover 2 participants from each company attending the bootcamp)|
|Phase 3||For those companies progressing to Phase 3, a fee of €1,550 + VAT will be required following completion of the Bootcamp and before the US Itinerary is confirmed.|
Please note that all US travel, accommodation and transport costs must be covered by the participants.
How to Apply?
Applications for the Access Silicon Valley Programme are closed. Please register your interest for future programmes by emailing
Access Silicon Valley
Key contact/more information
If you are interested in the Access Silicon Valley Programme, please contact a member of the ASV recruitment team: