A PARTY from the University of Southampton is bringing some of the San Francisco “mindset” back to the city after spending a week in the tech start-up capital of the world.

The group, from the university’s Future Worlds start-up centre, have been meeting investors and business people in California, as well as seeing the headquarters of Facebook, Google and Apple.

Ben Clark, director of Future Worlds, spoke to the Daily Echo from California and set the trip was helping “to put Southampton on the map as a city and as a university”.

“That’s so important, the more we can raise the profile of the city in this place,” he said.

“It’s like building a virtual bridge between the two cities.”

The group of around 15 consists of undergraduates, researchers and staff harnessing their knowledge to create start-up businesses.

“We’ve been meeting number of British founders that have moved here from the UK to be based in San Francisco or the wider Bay Area and visiting a really cool start-up working space in the heart of San Francisco,” said Mr Clark.

He said investors had been impressed by the pitches from Southampton.

“It confirmed they can hold their own out here among the best in the world,” he added.

“There’s such a key message for Southampton – to recognise what we have and not hide our light under a bushel,” he said.

He said there were many similarities between San Francisco and Southampton, which were both large ports with thriving economies, but also with areas of serious deprivation.

He added: “There’s a huge difference in the risk-taking mindset. There are so many people that have got huge amounts of money that they’ve made from investing something, building something, learning something.”

He said San Francisco’s Bay Area invested 29 billion US dollars in start-ups in the first quarter of this year.

“That’s the same as the whole of Europe put together,” he added.

“It’s been great to have people share their time and talk through what we see, what the mindset is like here,” he added.

“All of us are bringing that back to Southampton now and it’s changed our mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance and growth."