Silicon Valley, Round 1.

Upon meeting my co-founder and soon-to-be fellow Dogpatcher at the airport on Saturday, I saw that he had brought an umbrella with him all the way from North Carolina. I wondered why he would do this. Growing up in the Bay Area, I knew that it never rained out here during this time of the year.

Fast forward to Monday morning. I opened the door of our rented room in San Mateo and stepped outside to begin the journey to Dogpatch. Something didn’t feel right. All of a sudden I was soaking wet. It was raining. In fact, it was pouring. Where in the world did this come from I wondered?

My first day as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur got off to a wet start, but it was all uphill from there. After a quick introduction to Dogpatch and Palo Alto by the DSVIP team, we settled in and got down to business.

We are working on a nutritional start-up called myTwoBites. We provide expectant mothers with the information necessary to eat well and keep them and their babies healthy and strong. Research has shown that children born to well-fed mothers are more likely to lead happy and healthy lives than those who are not. We have collaborated extensively with obstetricians, physicians, and nutritionists to build a product that we hope is incredibly easy to use and provides moms actionable feedback in a quick and efficient manner.

I am fortunate to work with two outstanding partners, Xiaoyang Zhuang and Ani Mohan. In a period of just two weeks, we put together a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) that will allow us to get a better idea of what we are doing right and, perhaps more importantly, what we need to improve upon. You can check out the MVP on www.mytwobites.com and follow our blog here.

Because we were able to head out to Silicon Valley with a MVP, we are in the luxurious position of spending some of our time improving the product and interacting with users and also having the time and opportunity to build the many important relationships that the Valley has to offer. In our first week at Dogpatch, we had 12 different meetings with various people, from venture capitalists to nutritionists, lawyers, and other Dogpatch residents (many of whom are accomplished entrepreneurs). This does not include the many informal conversations that tend to crop up throughout the day (and sometimes night). This is the beauty of Silicon Valley. This is why we’re fortunate to call Dogpatch home for the next two months.

Each summer resident at Dogpatch aims to build their respective companies as best they can. The sky is the limit, and the DukeGEN program is proving to be our wings. Whether it be the people we networked with at the DukeGEN pitch event in San Francisco after our second day of work, the weekly curriculum session featuring engaging discussion with influential Silicon Valley entrepreneurs on day three, or the lunch meetings with some of the many people involved in the program, everyone has been incredibly hospitable and instrumental in our enjoyment of and hopeful success in Silicon Valley.

I am incredibly excited about where myTwoBites is headed and what the rest of the summer has in store.

Until next time!

Jacob

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