Silicon Valley, Baby.
Director: Erika Haavisto | 58 min | 2020 | Finland, United States
“An unpolished portrait of the startup reality in Silicon Valley: the heaven & the hell.”
- Antti Merilehto, Chief Growth Officer at Houston Analytics
Two types of espresso are served at Kalle Freese’s high school graduation party: one from Brazil, one from El Salvador. It's simply not good enough for Kalle.
The ambitious young graduate soon becomes an acknowledged barista, winning the Finnish barista championship twice and placing in the top 10 worldwide.
As the saying goes, that and five dollars will get Kalle a cup of coffee. But Kalle doesn't want a cup of coffee, he wants to become “the Elon Musk of coffee”. So Kalle must leave for Silicon Valley, to pitch his idea and get his start-up Sudden Coffee on the map.
Alongside sharing Kalle's story, director Erika Haavisto’s intimate documentary offers a broader look at Silicon Valley and start-up.
His idea is to make instant coffee “that doesn’t taste like piss”, and which will revolutionise the coffee market globally. Angel investors are drawn into the buzz, but the funding round is just the prelude to the real challenges.
“How fucking difficult can it be to sell some coffee?” Freese agonises at one point. Apparently very difficult, indeed. But not as difficult as trying to keep control of investors' $3 million, navigate life an incubator, risking losing everything he holds dear at work and at home – including his wife.
Silicon Valley, Baby looks at what people will do when they need to reach their Silicon Valley goal no matter what and asks why so many people think it's worth the cost.
Previous festival selections include:
New York Independent Film Festival