Joining Geeks on a Train? Mark Silva explains why you should stay for the GROW Conference

[Editor: Geeks on Train is heading from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, BC, and it’s dragging a whole cast of characters along for the ride. But some folks have been wondering if they should attend the event that lies at the end of the trip, the GROW Conference. Mark Silva, SVP Emerging Platforms at Anthem Worldwide, provides a little inspiration for your staying on to attend GROW.]

A direct line to Silicon Valley

There’s a different business DNA here in Silicon Valley and there’s no other start-up ecosystem like it anywhere in the world. We are the descendants of miners, pioneers, and manifest destiny. We’re comfortable crafting real value from the clay of chaos. In the 49er days, you weren’t a failure if your mine went dry. Only if you quit. And that attitude persists here today.

I always tell startups, if they’re serious, they need to come to Silicon Valley. It’s tough enough to start a business. Why not start with an unfair advantage and remove some of those obstacles you face with an ecosystem that can help solve your biggest and smallest issues?

That being said, you’re not doomed if you decide to start a business somewhere else. Events like the GROW Conference in Vancouver have made the Silicon Valley ecosystem mobile and if only for a few days, you can have the Valley brought to you. With the speakers, mentors, investors, companies, and accelerators, GROW Week is like a high speed rail to Silicon Valley with exclusive access to the right players.

As we all know, there’s a serious echo chamber in Silicon Valley, and the chance to get out of our caves and be in new places is healthy and promotes good ideas. I find that when I attend a good conference or event, I end up having more in depth conversations over the course of a few days with people I care about than I do in any other situation.

Some of the highlights for me from GROW last year were getting to know Vy Le, CEO of Rudy’s Barbershop, spending time with top Silicon Valley VCs like Chris Redlitz, Jeff Clavier, and Rob Hayes, and networking with fellow mentors like Matt Galligan and Lane Becker from Get Satisfaction. How awesome is that!?

GROW is the closest thing to a “Valley” experience outside of the Valley, and Vancouver is one of the most beautiful backdrops to inspire collaboration, discussion and innovation. I’ve never met a Canadian I didn’t like, and I’ll put that challenge to the test when I return to GROW in August!

Join me at GROW August 22-24th in Vancouver, BC. Get $50 off by entering “Silva” when you register for the GROW Conference.

Mark Silva has an “innate curiosity and passion for forming meaning in new media,” whether it be a commercial community around digital media strategy, marketing and development. He can be found online at marksilva.com or as @marksilva on Twitter.

  1. I decided to do the full conference at the same time I decided to do Geeks on a Train/GROWtalks. Great lineup of speakers and attendees….really looking forward to it.

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