The CIBU Trip to Silicon Valley (which is part of the Entrepreneurship Course) is a week full of entrepreneurial spirit, taking place in the heart of the Bay Area. It’s a chance to get first-hand information from entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and consultants about how business is done in Silicon Valley. Furthermore, students are able to feel the very special spirit of the world renowned Stanford University.
The connection between the Stanford University and the companies in the Silicon Valley is very important and has a long history: In the mid of the 19th century the Stanford University was facing financial problems. To solve the problems Stanford University decided to lease a part of the university’s land to companies in order to get money. But the leases were only available for high tech companies, as the university wanted to work closely with these companies. And the connection still exists today:
On the second day of our trip we were invited by Dr. William F. Miller. Dr. Miller is a professor at Stanford who has spent half of his life in academia and half in business. He gave a lecture on the specials of business in Silicon Valley and also focused on the topic of venture capital. Two days later Dr. Miller invited us to a start-up company that he recently founded: Lumiette, a high tech lighting company. Dr. Miller is 84 years old and showed impressively that entrepreneurship is not a question of age.
Another very interesting destination of our trip was a visit at the headquarters of Cisco Systems in San Jose. Cisco Training Director Joe Pambianco was our host at that day. After showing us round at the headquarters and introducing us to the latest techniques invented by Cisco, Joe invited us to a barbecue at his home, where we met some of his colleagues form Cisco that gave us further information about the company. This was a very special day for all of us. Due to the fact that we were at private home, we were able to experience what life feels like for people that live in the bay area, with their friends, children and dogs.
Furthermore we heard different lectures at the Cisco Entrepreneur Center in San Jose about entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, went to a TiE (The Indian Entrepreneurs) “diner and talk” about venture capital in Santa Clara, visited an event of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs about venture capitalists at a country club, and had a lot of fun during networking sessions at night!
All in all, the Trip to Silicon Valley was a great experience. We were able to get in contact with different business people that live and work in the Silicon Valley, and that make it the unique place that it is!
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