12 April 2016 / Editorial Team

Sandaire Singapore Explores Silicon Valley’s Tech Ecosystem

Sandaire Singapore Explores Silicon Valley’s Tech Ecosystem

Disruptive technology and family business were top of the agenda during our recent ‘Inside Innovation’ event held in California.

With the support of AITV, a direct investment fund in which Sandaire is invested, we produced a dynamic four-day event that brought together leading families from around the globe, tech entrepreneurs, key influencers and investors at the epicentre of innovation – Silicon Valley.

Family members in attendance included multi-generational inheritors, first generation entrepreneurs, and family business owners and successors, who had travelled from Europe, Asia and South America, to discuss the ever increasing impact of technology and innovation on their respective businesses.

Modern tech powerhouses including UBER, Salesforce and Microsoft opened their closed doors for rare and insightful office tours and demonstrations, so that Sandaire’s guests could hear directly from Founders, CEOs and investors of leading companies in Silicon Valley.

A customised tour provided insights from which participants could learn about how disruptive innovation affects existing markets and services, and the potential applications to their own initiatives at home. By the end of the tour it was clear that Silicon Valley’s success is a product of a robust, research driven community of natural talent, universities and alumni, funded by market leading technology companies that provide access to risk capital.

The experience was capped-off by a private tour of Napa Valley. Sandaire’s guests visited exclusive, family-established vineyards, sampled delicious wines and learned first-hand from vineyard owners and operators. Highlights included private wine tastings with Robert Mondavi, Jr., who owns and runs his family’s acclaimed namesake winery, and Jake Kloberdanz, Founder and CEO of ONEHOPE winery.

The Mondavi family is famous for developing a number of premium wines that are respected by connoisseurs and winemakers alike. In 1979, an official joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and the Mondavi family resulted in the creation of Opus One, one of California’s most high profile wines, the first vintage of which was sold for a quite remarkable amount of $50 in 1983. Consequently today, the Mondavi family is known as one of the great New World Wine pioneers.

In contrast, ONEHOPE is a lifestyle wine brand that was established in 2007. In addition to being one of the most distributed wines in the United States, the brand also gives back to various causes through thoughtful integration of social impact activities across different aspects of the vineyard and winery.

The multi-day tour concluded with a private dinner held in the Cask Room at Merryvale Vineyards, where guests enjoyed a gourmet meal and presentations from serial entrepreneurs, Sharon Vosmek, the CEO of Astia Fund, and Alex Moore, the COO and Co-Founder of NodePrime. Sharon discussed the invaluable work that Astia carries out to identify and promote best-in-class, high-growth women entrepreneurs. By contrast, Alex was the first employee hired by Palantir, a ground-breaking data analysis company, whose original clients were federal agencies of the US intelligence community and  it is one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable private technology companies. Since graduating from Stanford University in 2005, Alex has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures and he discussed the mind-set required to succeed in an ever-changing external environment.

What made the trip so special was that it provided a unique forum in which business and informal family discussions could be conducted simultaneously in a relaxed manner. Families were able to learn from each other, and over only four days, relationships were forged and strong foundations were set for ongoing interaction.

The trip was the first of its kind – a collaborative event providing access to Sandaire’s global network. The idea was initially conceived by Singapore Management University’s Business Families Institute (BFI) who approached Sandaire about connecting family members of its global network with the venture community in Silicon Valley. We are proud to be a Founding Family member and supporter of BFI, which was established in August 2012 in response to the growing needs of business families in Asia. The Institute encourages business families to think proactively about generations, growth, charitable giving and issues of global importance.

Professor Annie Koh, the BFI Academic Director stated that attendees were “won over by [Sandaire’s] sincerity and genuine interest in their learning and I can say this trip has forged a new level of trusted partnership between BFI and Sandaire.”  Lorraine Ng, Pan-United Corporation added, “I was amazed at the diversity of the group. We had participants from different countries, cultures and industries, with broad experiences to share. Not only did we have the chance to travel and make friends but also to learn from each other.”

We would like to thank all of the companies and individuals who took part in the programme, especially AITV, Addepar, Haven, Le Tote, Microsoft Ventures, Mocana, OpenGov, OrangeTM, Penrose, Presdo Match, Roam, Salesforce, Sourcegraph and UBER.

If you would like to learn more about Sandaire’s global events programme and network, please contact us at digital@sandaire.com 

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Sandaire is an international investment office delivering tailored solutions for wealthy families and foundations.

We are family-owned and professionally managed, with a 20-year history that provides unique insights into the evolving opportunities and challenges that wealth creates, truly understanding that there is more to wealth than just investment performance.

We know at first-hand that wealth is a very individual thing. We make it our business to simplify the complex nature of wealth so that we can steward and further its potential for our clients.