Start up Diaries: TableCrowd goes to San Francisco

Monday. We’re in full fund raising mode, so as well as juggling the demands of the day-to-day business, I’m running around the City and West End for fund raising meetings.

After missing out on their last demo & drinks event, I booked a demo slot on 25 February with Tech Meetups at Google Campus. It’s a good opportunity to further improve our pitch and receive feedback from London’s tech community.

I’m off to San Francisco tomorrow to attend the Vator Splash pitch competition and the Women 2.0 Conference as well as various other meetings I’ve set up. I had no joy using Startup Stay to find a sofa to crash this time round but sourced some cheap digs through AirBnb.

Tuesday. Spoke to Chris Bradley of Suitcase Startup, on the way to the airport. Chris is filming his journey as he takes his startup from his bedroom in North Wales to London, with no money, no accommodation and no office. Despite me not finding a place to crash through Startup Stay, I did acquire Chris as a houseguest when I’m back from the US. I’m looking forward to hearing about his startup Publicate. We agreed to set up a Startup Engine dinner for the night he stays and that he could include the footage in his fly-on-the-wall documentary.

I was approached by a London radio station for an interview – they are interested in stories from female entrepreneurs so I said yes, and booked in a date to head down to Royal Festival Hall for the show.

And off to San Francisco I go! I’m dreading the kick the 9 hours time difference will have, as I need to be on form from the moment I arrive. The agenda is packed to the max.

Wednesday. I arranged a lunch through Startup Stay to meet a fellow entrepreneur from the area. It was good to get the low down about the scene here and he recommended some pitch competitions that would suit TableCrowd.

Then onto Vator Splash, a large and high profile pitch competition in San Francisco at Café de Nord! Last week I reached out (yes, I’m in the US, so I’m switching to US chat – when in Rome…) to some people on the guestlist for the event to introduce TableCrowd and to arrange to meet them over a drink after the pitches. A semi-finalist, we received a complimentary ticket to the event which was a bonus.

There were key note speakers from Evernote as well as some big gun VCs. At the after party, the live band was made up of the keynote speakers and VCs previously on stage speaking or judging, plus a number of people who had made successful exits from companies we all know. Everyone lives and breathes startups here!

I’m missing out on the Startup Engine dinner tonight at the Yard, but Ben Bromerley of AskHerFriends has stepped up to host in my absence.

Thursday. I made an early start to ‘get in line’ (…still in Rome) at the Women 2.0 Conference. Around 1,000 women descended on the Westin St Francis hotel on Valentine’s Day for an action packed day of speakers and a pitch competition. We heard from key notes speakers from Facebook, Bing, the co-founder of as well as many VCs.

Friday. Back-to-back meetings all over town, which gave me a chance to see a bit of San Francisco, and make some very useful connections which will help TableCrowd on its journey.

Leaving for New York tomorrow for Social Media Week as part of Chinwag’s Digital Mission. Looking forward to meeting my 19 other UK comrades that are also on the mission.

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