Singularity University Labs and The Heretic with Pascal Finette

Singularity University Labs and The Heretic with Pascal Finette
Pascal Finette from Singularity University Labs joined us to discuss how they accelerate startups with exponential technologies & the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Pascal Finette joined us for a conversation on the story behind Singularity University Labs and how they work startups with exponential technologies focusing on different global grand challenges out there. We also discussed his new book “The Heretic” and his reflections on the Silicon Valley ecosystem and why it has been difficult to be replicated elsewhere in the world.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Pascal Finette (LinkedIn, @pfinette, The Heretic) Vice President Singularity University Labs, Entrepreneurship Chair & Global Evangelist at Singularity University [0:37]
    • How did you start your career? [1:28]
    • From starting your own company to working in eBay, Mozilla, and now in Singularity University, what are the interesting lessons you can share? [3:58]
  • Singularity University Labs [5:15]
    • Introduction: Singularity University – What is the mission of SU? [5:15]
    • How does SU empower the global community to create an abundant future? [6:31]
    • Can you briefly your current role and coverage in Singularity University? [7:57]
    • How does SU labs fit within the Singularity University ecosystem? [9:04]
    • How does SU labs select the founders to be part of their program? [10:14]
    • What are the programs that the SU Labs run for founders and startups? [11:37]
    • What are the key attributes for founding teams of startups that you believe are crucial to their failures and successes later? [13:17]
    • What are the interesting startups from SU Labs? See their portfolio. [15:02]
    • How does SU Labs help startups to reach the next stage? [16:32]
    • Where do you see SU Labs be in 5 years time? [18:01]
  • Silicon Valley and The Heretic book 
    • You started the first company in Germany and then moved to Silicon Valley and shared how difficult the life of a startup founder is in your new book “The Heretic”, can you discuss why you wrote the book? [19:57]
    • How is the book structured? [23:00]
    • What are some of the favourite lessons you can talk about? (BL’s favourite: 10x not 10%, the competitive advantage of giving a damn) [23:58]
    • While we hear the success stories (with confirmation bias), yet most companies fail and what’s your advice for founders when they cope with shutdowns and failures? [25:19]
    • The Silicon Valley ecosystem is very different from the rest of world, with people paying it forward and helping each other, and yet at the same time, competitive. Can you share your perspectives on the ecosystem and why many out there are unable to replicate it? [28:16]
    • How does SU Labs distinguish itself from the other accelerators within Silicon Valley, for example, Y-Combinator & 500 Startups? [30:35]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.