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A Spring Immersion in Silicon Valley

Desafia San Francisco opens the applications for the 2023 Spring batch of its Immersion Program: a unique opportunity for Spanish tech startups to scale faster and globally


Barcelona, March 7, 2023 - The public initiative Desafia San Francisco launches the call for applications for the Spring 2023 session of its Immersion Program aimed at Spanish technology startups that wish to scale their business model globally.

Established by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment (the Government of Spain’s agency for the internationalization of businesses) and Red.es (the Government of Spain’s agency responsible for executing and deploying part of Spain’s Digital Agenda), and run by the global open innovation platform Mind the Bridge, it was presented on March 1st at MTB Offices in Talent Garden Barcelona, in the presence of key stakeholders of the region.

The program aims to achieve a dual objective: to introduce entrepreneurs to the Silicon Valley ecosystem in order to acquire the experience and knowledge necessary to scale their business model with greater guarantees of success and, on the other hand, to facilitate landfall of selected startups in the North American market.


Following the Fall 2022 edition, the 2023 Spring edition will take place from May 1 to 12th and will be hosted in the MTB Innovation Center in San Francisco, South of Market (SOMA). A third session is scheduled in Fall 2023.


For the startups successfully selected, the Desafia program will consist of a preparation period, followed by an immersive program in Silicon Valley to scale faster and globally:


1. Bootcamp (March, 29-31) - The selected startups will participate in a workshop in Madrid, prior to the immersion in San Francisco, where they will get to know the content of the program in detail, get in touch with the Desafia operational team, define objectives and expectations, and participate in preliminary activities to the program.


2. Immersion Program (May, 1-12) A two-week intensive program, structured in two blocks:


  • First week: training and practical sessions, networking events and visits to the main players of the US ecosystem (research centers, campuses, corporates) and Silicon Valley in particular. Startups will have the opportunity to learn about the US business landscape and Silicon Valley Ecosystem, refine their storytelling, value proposition and pitching specific to a VC audience in the US, build strong networks with VC, corporate leaders and mentors and visit a corporation born out of startup culture.

  • Second week: Seminars, mentoring and interviews on strategic topics related to the areas of marketing, finance, investment, business strategies, legal advice, talent acquisition. Visits to large technological corporations in the SV, among others. The second week will be focused on understanding how to compete globally and grow revenue, ensuring IP is protected, learning how to build a strong cross cultural multi-functional team, meeting other startup founders and grabbing insights from their journey.


3. Alumni Program: conceived to give continuity to the journey started during the Immersion Program, strengthen the feeling of community, and foster the creation of an international network, with the aim of promoting the generation of commercial and collaboration opportunities.

The call for applications is now open: interested startups can apply here until March 15th.

C-Level officers and founders from past editions include successful companies like Wallbox, ByHours, and Beonprice and, more recently, very promising companies like Finboot, Brickbro and Sateliot.




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