I typically decide to go overseas on business based on whether I have been invited speak at a conference or other event. This means my plans are determined by outside schedules, around which I fit visits to investors, partners, and speeches at business schools, as well as recruitment dinners.
Many important overseas conferences take place in October, and many, many people come together for them. Beyond the value for networking, I can also let the world know about GLOBIS and learn a lot myself. So I actively participate. At the beginning of October alone, I was invited to three different places: New York, Singapore, and Cannes.
New York and Singapore, I was unfortunately forced to decline. The third event, held in Cannes in the south of France, is known as ETRE (European Technology Roundtable Exhibition). It brings together technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the US and Europe. I had participated as a speaker in this same event the year before last in Seville, Spain. The organizer of ETRE, Mr. Alex Vieux, is very active in the business community, even purchasing the American technology magazine “Red Herring.” He also organizes the ATRE (Asian Technology Roundtable Exhibition) conference, where I recently gave a speech.
Vieux makes generous efforts to support GLOBIS and offered me this wonderful speaking opportunity among high-calibur ETRE participants. Not to mention, the event location also allowed me to visit French investors. I simply couldn’t pass it up.
There was one other event in October I aimed to attend: a career forum that was going to be held in Boston from October 22 to 24.
There were nine days between the Boston and Cannes events, so, in theory, I would be able to return to Japan before going to the US. However, I also was viewing this trip as a fundraising opportunity, so I decided to combine it with a “road trip” to visit investors. This would mean going to places like Oslo and Michigan and visiting investors one at a time, thoroughly explaining to each of them the current status of our fund.
My three-week itinerary was pretty packed:
|10th (Sun.)||Leave Narita for Nice, via Paris. By car into Cannes (stay in Cannes)|
|11th (Mon.)||Attend ETRE (stay in Cannes)|
|12th (Tue.)||Attend ETRE (stay in Cannes)|
|13th (Wed.)||After ETRE, travel from Nice to Oslo (stay in Oslo)|
|14th (Thu.)||Meet with investors in Oslo. Fly from Oslo to London (stay in London)|
|15th (Fri.)||Visit investors in London and hold a meeting. Visit Apax and others (stay in London)|
|16th (Sat.)||Day off 🙂 (stay in London)|
|17th (Sun.)||Fly from London to New York (stay in New York)|
|18th (Mon.)||Drive to Philadelphia. Visit two investors, speak at Wharton and hold a recruitment dinner. |
Return to NY in the evening (stay in NY)
|19th (Tue.)||Drive during the morning to Connecticut. Scheduled visits to three investors. |
Evening, dinner with Alan Patricof. (Stay in NY)
|20th (Wed.)||Visit and hold a meeting with NY investors (stay in NY)|
|21st (Thu.)||Travel to Boston from NY (stay in Boston)|
|22nd (Fri.)||Meet investors in Boston and schedule visit to Harvard Business School (HBS).|
|23rd (Sat.)||Speak at Career Forum (stay in Boston)|
|24th (Sun.)||Hold interviews at Career Forum (stay in Boston)|
|25th (Mon.)||From Boston, go and visit two investors in Michigan, then travel to Chicago. |
Hold recruitment dinner in Chicago (stay in Chicago)
|26th (Tue.)||Visit two investors in Chicago, travel to San Francisco (stay in San Francisco)|
|27th (Wed.)||Visit investors in San Francisco, speak at Berkeley (stay in San Francisco)|
|28th (Thu.)||Visit two investors in Silicon Valley, then set off for Japan (sleep on plane)|
|29th (Fri.)||Arrive back in Japan (Yeah!!)|
It feels more like living abroad than just another business trip. I intend to enjoy this journey and all of the opportunities it presents.