The quote from the program: “You are investing in you as an investment.” has stuck in our heads ever since the guest speaker tried to explain it to our students at Silicon Valley Academy 2019.
The second edition of the program has exceeded our expectations and as far as the results from the survey showed, participants can agree with this also!
The program saw 29 students from 19 countries come to Silicon Valley with one goal – to learn from the best, so let’s see what they learned in the 2 weeks of living in the Bay area…
Value from innovation
Silicon Valley… The so-called birthplace of the future is the place to be! And that is what our students recognized as well.
From a large amount of capital, accessible technology, and other resources, to the intellectual and innovation power, Silicon Valley has it all! So many great job opportunities, so many skills concentrated in one place and so many challenges ahead all of which our students experienced!
Silicon Valley learning experience
Step 1. Adopting the Silicon Valley mindset.
During the first few days of the program, students got a chance to embrace the Valley mindset and learn more about the world of innovation, entrepreneurship and best Silicon Valley practices. Silicon Valley mantra Fail fast,
Step 2. Idea brainstorm.
Using breakthrough thinking, and design thinking, students were able to develop the right business idea taking into account feedback from professors and team members.
Step 3. Rapid Idea Improvement sessions
Pitching the idea while it is still in the development phase is important, as the feedback you get can be very valuable. That’s why our students are advising other peers and building the idea based on the feedback they get along the way.
Step 4. Value creation.
Using CO-STAR and Lean Startup toolkit, students have been able to create or add value to the existing product/service and this way, improve the product success rates. All of this with the focus on developing the right skills to create value for the customer which is the most important requirement when working on a market idea.
Step 5. Finding the market fit.
Finding the fit for an unknown product in an unknown market is difficult. However, our students got the chance to hear and be advised by Silicon Valley’s influential business people who were there to help them market it even better and find the niche for their ideas.
Step 6. Implement tech practices.
Simply visiting the Valley’s leading companies and listening to a variety of guest speakers and mentors, students got more familiar with innovation and the newest tech trends, which they have been immediately implementing to their business models. This part of the program was extremely interactive, students got a chance to ask questions and hear from a variety of lecturers, from inventors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, app developers, analysts…
Step 7. Elevator Pitch Competition.
The peak of the program was definitely the Elevator Pitch Competition! Students summed up a business model which they had been working on in a short elevator pitch and pitch it to the class. Out of 6 teams presenting, we saw a bunch of great ideas that were to tackle problems with bullying, fake news, rent-a-car industry, pollution…
In the end, it is all about this…
CREATIVITY + COLLABORATION + CO STAR = SUCCESS
Group work is an essential part of all our programs. International groups that work together to develop the best market solutions are the recipe for success. Diverse backgrounds students make this part of our program a challenge, but also an advantage where the groups get to see the problem from different angles. All the groups are mentored by our lead professor Laszlo Gyorffy, but get feedback from all the peers, so they get a chance to improve based on that.
Events & corporate visits
To round up the program, we have taken the students to listen to the pitches at Plug & Play Tech Center where they listened to 15 elevator pitches from startups that were seeking for the money from investors, venture capitalists and other members in the ecosystem. Based on this, students could improve their own pitches.
Some of the other corporate visits we had were to NetApp, one of the Fortune 500 companies, focused on cloud data services. We also had a chance to visit the Fujifilm innovation hub, WeWork, Autodesk, Celtra, Intel…
In the two weeks of the program, students got connected, explored San Jose and Bay Area, had a 4th of July celebration with fireworks and had some fun times together!
We would like to express gratitude to all of our guest speakers, company hosts, professor, partners and students who made all of this happen and have created the best experience for the second edition of Silicon Valley Academy!