This afternoon I had a pitch training via Skype, because next
week I should present the Vrije Universiteit and myself (so also SOLV) in 1 minute, for Robot/AI/blockchain companies in
Silicon Valley. The trainer had indicated politely how I could improve my
slides. In particular the second slide was very poor. Lots of text about the
Vrije Universiteit. She told me it looked like I was some old law professor.
Well, I am. She also told me I should show off more. At the graduation party of
dr. Wisman last January I sang “…The one thing that he learned from me is brag
around, we are just fantastic and our thoughts profound…”, but she is right
that Europeans are not that good in this respect.

The trainer was Gigi Wang, and she really is fantastic. And
not only a good trainer, but one of those internet legends. Started TrustE around
1996, a company now called TrustArc, that
aims to realize privacy in e-commerce transactions (next to security a big
issue back then and still). An interesting story about the name of this company
is that it initially was called eTrust, fully in line with how names were
created around the turn of the millennium (remember SOLV started in 2000 as
eTorneys@Law). However, Nothern Telecom used the name nTrust, and sent a cease-and-desist
letter because they considered eTrust to look too similar. eTrust did not have
the money to start a legal battle, so simply changed its name.

I will report about my visit later, also because on Monday
there is a dinner with Prins Constantijn, Neelie Kroes, Minister Kaag, Netherlands Consul General for the US west coast Gerbert Kunst and some
other 200+ people where I have some official “stand-in” role in presenting “Holland
in the Valley” (Building A Network between the Netherlands and Silicon Valley. Jump-Starting
Talent and Innovation).

I am sure it is going to be an interesting trip, and I am glad my
slides and pitch are good now. Let’s hope I can raise some interest and funding
at the other side of the ocean.