In 2011, Renata Akhunova moved to California, where she founded the Formula VC venture capital fund. In 2012, she became the first Russian woman in the list of female venture investors and business angels, compiled by American Forbes. Her story about why to move to California, how she lives in a new place and about the three most famous places in the state.
California is perhaps the most famous state in the United States, which is glorified by all three of its centers of gravity: San Francisco's disco city, the entrepreneurial Mecca of Silicon Valley and Los Angeles with its Hollywood surroundings. Everyone can find a place to live to taste, writes Vzagranke.ru.
Having moved to California, I carefully watched the life of a global center for technological entrepreneurship, communicated with start-ups from all over the world and, as a business angel, shared my experience with entrepreneurs free of charge.
One year later, our team raised the Formula VC venture capital fund, and I stayed here to live and work. We invest in information technology: both American and European startups.
At first, I wanted to find an office in San Francisco by any means: most of the young IT companies are located there. However, by four o'clock in the afternoon, she abandoned the idea of living in this city: in July, by the end of the day, you would have to wrap yourself in a leather jacket and a cashmere scarf, in the summer it was just as dank as in October in Moscow. There are areas (of course, prestigious), where it is almost always warm and windless, but this is more the exception than the rule. I settled in the south of Silicon Valley - in the warm city of San Jose, our office is located in the Silicon Valley on the "Investor Street" Invest Hill Road, and in the City (The City - that's the name of San Francisco in the Valley) I drive special occasions: for meetings, events and to have fun.
Most business events certainly take place in San Francisco. The concentration of entrepreneurs and investors is huge. The city itself is small, so you can schedule more meetings in a day than in Silicon Valley. In the evenings, you can count on a cultural program: there are always various exhibitions, operas, concerts, scientific conferences. Personally, I reduce parties to a minimum, preferring home-made dinners with my colleagues and partners. In addition to selected business events about a quarter of a year, I go to any grand concerts or parties. Pop stars often perform in California, and the most vivid in my memory while Pink was playing. Most nightclubs are boring for me, but themed parties of the Burning Man festival rarely leave me even indifferent. As for sporting events, the “America's Cup” regatta is mandatory for visiting - it amazes me year after year.
San Francisco is a restaurant paradise: a rare gourmet will remain indifferent to it. Without exaggeration, you will find here the cuisine of all nations of the world, and the prices will pleasantly surprise with their adequacy. In San Francisco, there are high-end restaurants with Michelin stars, in which you need to reserve a table for two or three months. From those that I managed to visit, I prefer The French Laundry (in Napa Valley), Baume (in Palo Alto) and Madera (in Menlo Park). But wherever you decide to have dinner, you can count on delicious food and friendly service everywhere - in an expensive restaurant, and in a Chinese eatery.
Famous hills and ocean shores, skyscrapers and gingerbread houses closely standing - in San Francisco you are constantly discovering breathtaking views! Most guidebooks list the top 10 major tourist destinations, but in fact there are many more. I would probably agree with the number XXUMX of this list - the well-known observation platform Twin Peaks, from which you can see the whole city and environs, but then my preferences diverge from the guides. I love the view of the bay from Vallejo, near the Russian consulate in San Francisco. My other weakness is the view of the city from the bay when sailing along San Francisco on a boat.
San Francisco is a rave, eclectic, multicultural city. Sure, there will never be boring, but if you need to focus on something, perhaps San Francisco is not the best option for that.
Visitors are very important not to confuse San Francisco with Silicon Valley: the “towns” with some disdain are called the towns of the Valley in the village. And although in terms of economic and business indicators, the “town” of San Jose is ahead of San Francisco, the Valley is rightly considered to be the “sleeping area” of the bay.
Starting from the southern suburbs of San Francisco to the very south of San José, you can choose your own climate: if you want coolness, living south of Menlo Park or Palo Alto is not recommended, and if you want real Californian heat, choose San José. The valley is not as rich in views as San Francisco, but the ocean coast is very popular with surfers and golfers.
The entire local “get-together” is concentrated in Palo Alto: here are well-known cafes, for example University and Coupa Cafe, in which investment deals are allegedly constantly made, here are numerous “meet-ups” for start-up entrepreneurs, and more intellectual component of everything around due to the proximity of Stanford University.
Living in the Valley is somewhat cheaper than in San Francisco, so many people rent housing closer to the south. It’s hard to imagine living in California without a car. And although it is quite possible to replace a car route to work with electric trains (which operate all the way from San Jose to San Francisco), it is still easier to go to the mall for food by car.
If San Francisco and Silicon Valley suppress your libido and you experience negative emotions when you cannot distinguish a woman running in front of you from a man (personal comfort in a casual style is absurd), then your choice is City of Angels.
Constant party “friends at home” are popular in all of California, but only in Los Angeles they look in reality exactly like in the movies: blue pools, girls in bikinis, men in white pants in convertibles - that's all true. And the truth is almost daily. Of course, in such conditions you can only do a very specific “Hollywood” business, but if you are not a novice entrepreneur and can afford to live every minute with pleasure, Los Angeles is waiting for you!
It is the country's second largest city, the industrial and economic center of the Western United States. At the same time, the cost of housing here is lower than in San Francisco, and the number of sunny days a year is higher, which is why I myself often have thoughts of moving to Los Angeles.
Fitness culture on the coast of Los Angeles - the ultimate dream of all fans of a healthy lifestyle. Palm trees, waves, sand and closeness of Hollywood motivate yourself to keep in shape. California is generally the perfect place to be healthy and beautiful: here even I became a fan of fitness and healthy nutrition.
Wherever you move to the United States, remember that for all the benefits that this country gives, it requires a lot more in return than is visible outside. And there is nothing wrong with those who know how to make deals and act in accordance with the agreements. ”