There’s more to Canada than just maple syrup…

As many of you know, our CEO of US MAC is Canadian, and people are rather fond of him up there, especially the latest batch of Executive MBA students from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management!

Each year they have the privilege of visiting the Bay Area and seeing what our Silicon Valley startup scene is all about. Of course, this does not come without a business related project! For that, they turn to US MAC to present to them 10 Bay Area companies, out of which they choose 7, and assist them with a current business problem. This presentation and choosing of the companies happened just the other day in Canada, and one of the students decided to take note and photo document the entire session, with some humor of course. Allow me to share…


ALFREDO – our Valley pimp; middle-man between international start-ups and the Valley. Ten separate companies to be presented. We will do a consulting assignment for one of these companies. Seven companies are to be chosen. Pierre, our program director, wants us to pronounce SILICON properly.

Objective 1: Get us exposed to innovative environments.  CHARACTERISTICS.  Observe & Learn about them (macro and micro perspective). What makes it innovative?  How can you recreate that in your reality environment?

Objective 2: Emerging Tech & Leading Management Practices.  Exposure to entrepreneurs.  Unique DNA. Healthy biotech and cleantech continuously reinventing and renewing itself. What’s the next billion-dollar IPO?

Objective 3: Business Culture – discover why SV is to start-ups what Hollywood is to movies.


Fly Saturday –  Early.  Fly to Toronto, arrive San Francisco, bus to San Jose. Cocktails!

Sunday:  Discover SV for 3 hours. Dress comfortably.  LOOK LIKE HIPPIES. Avoid jeans, sneakers, tank tops and suits. Bus to San Francisco’s Union Square until 20h00 then head to Pier 39. Objective:  HAVE A GOOD TIME.

Monday: US Market Access Centre.  Listen to speakers discuss $$$ in SV, Angels, Venture Capital Financing. Good intro to the finances of a start-up.  Monday afternoon, STANFORD visit. Then HP Garage. Then Steve Jobs’ Garage. PHOTO OP!!!! The it’s off to Singularity University to meet with people who think exclusively about the future.

Tuesday:  Get exposed to firms really big that did not exist 10 years ago.  Afternoon: IBM Allen Research Centre, where relational databases were invented.  Currently focused on reproducing the brain. End the day with a formal University Event with the Engineering School in Palo Alto.  NETWORK.  Guest speaker.

Wednesday:  Back in San Francisco to visit Twitter, Runway and YouNoodle.  Afternoon: OPEN!!!

Thursday:  Visit Google!  Most wacky campus ever after Ideo. Talk about Innovation. Visit CISCO in the afternoon: discuss how a firm continues to sustain itself in terms of innovation in terms of services. Real time finance analytics, how they do it… This is how they do it….

Friday:   We fly back and then we must FINISH OUR ASSIGNMENT!

Heeeeeeere’s ALFREDO COPPOLA: Just back from Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Brussels, evaluating stuff.  Prez of US Market Access Centre.  Helps incubating companies (foreign firms trying to enter SV).  His goal: go through the slide deck and talk about SV (where he lives) and give us practical tips about how to network and contact people.  He will introduce the firms.