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Business Development Delegation to Silicon Valley: Day 4
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Fremont, Mountain View, Menlo Park, September 23, 2016. On the fourth day of the Slovenian Business Development Delegation to the Silicon Valley, Delegation’s 26 representatives from various industries as well as research and academic institutions visited Tesla Factory, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google.

The Delegation visited manufacturing facilities at Tesla Factory. Jure Podkrižnik, Executive Director of Podkrižnik d.o.o. summed up his observations and comparison with European manufacturers: "What I liked about Tesla is their focus on a higher goal, which everyone is pursuing and which everyone is very focused to actually achieve. There is less emphasis on the actual organization of work, which is a major difference compared to the European manufacturers that I visited."

The Delegation also visited two giants in the field of social networks. At LinkedIn, the participants were greeted by Igor Perisic, an American with Slovenian roots and VP of Engineering, and Guy Berger, an Economist, who presented LinkedIn's Economic Graph. Žan Dapčevič, MIC Academia, shared his thoughts upon visiting LinkedIn, namely that we might no longer need government data for analysis, as products such as LinkedIn can do the same job. "The data measured (at LinkedIn) is fresh, relevant and internationally comparable, as it follows the same standards across the globe."

Tadej Čoroli, Board Member at Zavarovalnica Triglav, upon visiting Facebook, highlighted the company's values and their effect on the entire culture of the company: "Employees live according to company values 24/7, they identify themselves with the core values and mission and radiate the same spirit."

During its visit to Google, the Delegation learned that the Slovenian Government is the first Government to take the initiative and effectively implemented Google's Digital Garage training. To showcase the importance of Digital Skills, the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister Koprivnikar opened the first Digital Garage training for 50 employees from the Ministry of Public Administration, using Google online platform to train employees on relevant topics as part of their Public Administration Academy. This is the first time that an initiative came from the government, which is acting on it and not just verbally endorsing and praising, but actually using it.

Boris Horvat, PhD, CRO at GoOpti and CEO at Abelium, summed up his observations of the entire day: "Innovation, insight into the future, technology and organization of the world's 'disrupters' such as Tesla, Google and Uber, are always useful to be used a mirror for anyone, who is serious about developing high-tech products and services. Since we live in a ‘multilocal’ world, we will have to add a European or a Slovenian face to these trends."

Tomorrow the Delegation will conclude its visit with an event at Stanford University and the official opening of the ABC Accelerator in the Silicon Valley.

The Business Development Delegation is organized by AmCham Slovenia, with the support of the SPIRIT Slovenia Public Agency.  Delegation participants will gain an insight into the thinking and functioning of the leading development centers and companies, which are establishing the key platforms for digital transformation. The Delegation will also consolidate the "Slovenia - a Green Reference Country in Digital Europe" initiative.

After last year's Delegation to the US, led by the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, PhD, this year's initiative came from the businesses themselves, under the auspices of AmCham Slovenia. These businesses are aware of the momentum and opportunities offered by the 4th Industrial Revolution, but at the same time know very well that it is essential to adapt, and even more - to play an active role - without waiting.  With the support of the Prime Minister, this year's Government Representative, joining the Delegation, is Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, who is also coordinating Government efforts in the field of digital transformation under the "Slovenia - a Green Reference Country in Digital Europe" initiative.

More information about the Delegation can be found here.