Lonely Planet Writer

Silicon Valley is now offering business travellers tours of tech firms

If you have ever wanted to go behind the scenes at Silicon Valley, then a special new boot camp tour of the world’s epicentre of technology is now available. Silicon Valley Unlocked takes visitors to California to meet senior employees from Google, Apple, Uber, Tesla, and Airbnb. The specialized tours are primarily aimed at business travellers, who are increasingly looking to learn while they travel.

The founder of Silicon Valley Unlocked
Jayson Frazer, Founder Silicon Valley Unlocked. Photo by: Adrian Falk (Believe Advertising)

Jayson Frazer, who developed the trips, told Lonely Planet: “The boot camps will take place about four times a year; it’s a five-day tour that’s kind of a catch-all of visiting tech firms, start-ups and accelerators, a broad cross-section of Silicon Valley business. “The single biggest question is how to do these Silicon Valley businesses innovate so well and what can we learn for ourselves. We basically ask all those questions.”

The trips are designed with business travellers in mind, who like to combine their professional development with seeing the world. “Part of the reason I started Silicon Valley Unlocked,” said Jayson, “was this crossover for travellers who wanted to combine their work life with their personal life, and have holidays that cover both areas. We are kind of tapping into that need and I expect to get people on tour who view it as something for both their personal development and career development.

“For me personally, if I look back over the past five or ten years, I have tended to combine business with leisure travel and even when travelling for leisure, I’ll try and incorporate a couple of days of work.”

The five-day trips are for small groups with the next boot camp jetting into San Francisco midway through June. The trip begins with a cocktail function and meet and greet before a first day visit to the start-up incubator that gave us Instagram and Etsy.

The Silicon Valley tour features a stop off at Google HQ
Google HQ features on the tour. Photo by: Adrian Falk (Believe Advertising).

Day Two involves a guided visit to the Google campus with lectures and presentations before an afternoon trip to marketing giant Marketo.

The next day includes a visit to both Apple and Airbnb, with guests able to learn the secrets of the success of some of the world’s best-known companies.