Team Silicon Valley (from left to right): Pablo Betancor, Irina González, Karen Floyd and André Eidskrem

Hello again! It’s Irina, the former intern who got the amazing chance to spend 7 months in Silicon Valley with intraHouse via PROEXCA. After this fantastic experience, I am back in Las Palmas with a different mindset and a great new set of skills and knowledge. I knew this opportunity would change everything, but I couldn’t really imagine how much of an impact it would have on me.

I moved to Barcelona when I was 18 to study and ended up living there for almost 8 years. I thought I had a small idea of what was coming. I believed being in the US would be just an upgraded version of that experience, but it was much more profound than that. Living so far away from home in a new place with a widely different culture and immersed into such a lively and intense industry taught me a lot more that I thought I would ever learn.

I have to admit I wasn’t that tech savvy when I first got there but after attending several talks and workshops (some of them at places like Facebook HQ, Yahoo! HQ or the Googleplex!), my technical knowledge is considerably better now, which definitely comes in handy, and not just in my work but as a regular consumer. I learned a lot about the way startups work and how some of them make it big in Silicon Valley, and I plan to share that insight on our #ShapingtheOdds platformI also improved my communications skills and learned how to move around in a crowd and how to pitch our company and products to different kinds of audiences.

Nothing really prepares you for this experience, so I am very grateful I got to share this with a great team that supported me along the way through thick and thin. I return home with all the knowledge Silicon Valley and the American tech industry has to offer and I can’t wait to put it to work and show people why it is the epicenter of innovation that it is.

I met very helpful and wonderful people during my stay in the US, the list would be endless, but I want to give a special mention to Nordic Innovation House and the team of Escalon Services, who were an important part of my work and development as a professional, and I deeply appreciate the help I received.

My American adventure is over (at least for now) but my journey is just starting. I am proud to say I am writing this blog sitting at the Spanish intraHouse office in Las Palmas, where I started working last week. It has been great coming back to the place where everything started and meeting my old colleagues as a fellow member of the team. I can’t wait to see the sort of amazing things we all can do together.

I will stay focused on #ShapingtheOdds, the entrepreneur community and social network I mentioned in my last entry. I have proudly watched this project slowly take off and grow into something that can make a change in the entrepreneurial world, a place where people from all over the world can come together and help each other. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t yet and join our community, where you can read all kinds of motivational and useful stuff and chat with well-known global speakers such as Rahfael Gordon and Leo Bottary.

Feel free to contact me to share your entrepreneurial story with us or if you would like to be featured on #ShapingtheOdds, we would love to hear about your journey.