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Silicon Valley 2017: Day Six

Hughan Margot

On Friday morning we packed up the vans and headed to SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. The Stanford Research Institute was established in 1946 by trustees at Stanford University to encourage commercialization of research in order to support economic development in the area. Since then SRI has continued to work towards creating world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. We were lucky enough to meet with Dr. Dennis Tsu, the Executive Director of corporate strategy at SRI. Dr. Tsu went through some of the largest challenges facing civilization today and what research projects they are exploring to address these challenges. He spoke about population growth, antibiotic resistance, the water crisis, and the necessity of renewable energy sources. As we are all preparing to launch our careers into various industries, it important that we keep in mind that macro needs of our global community and remain committed to furthering the common good.

Silicon Valley 2017: Day Five

Molloy Aaron

Thursday was filled with action and the group started early with breakfast at 7am in Hotel Aria. The class dispersed in our motorcade of minivans and headed off on yet another adventurous day of innovation in Palo Alto.

The first group visited Google, where they were met by Notre Dame alums working on an array of projects from Google maps enhancement to Google’s rocket program. Simultaneously a group of students visited Stryker, a med-tech devices company. Students had the opportunity to visit the neurovascular center and business unit, in addition to a panel discussion on both the neuro and endoscopic operations. Next, groups departed for Survey Monkey and IDEO. The Survey Monkey group had the opportunity to hear from multiple guest speakers and panellists, with a surprise stop in at cubicle belonging to the CEO of Survey Monkey, Zander Lurie. At the same time, Dennis Boyle welcomed students to IDEO where they had lunch and toured their facilities, followed by a Q&A session. Finally, the groups departed for their last visit of the day with the first group visiting Embark. The group was welcomed by Somodro Gupta, a software developer and a good friend. Here we heard from the CEO about their autonomous driving truck start-up. YouTube proved very interesting also, the business offices and more importantly the gaming area were explored. Stanford BioDesign was said to be a highlight of the trip for students who had the amazing opportunity to participate.…

Silicon Valley 2017: Day Four

As the other ESTEEM students were preparing for their shadow day – a day visiting interesting, San Francisco-based companies -  my day was designed to be more atypical.  Since my Capstone Thesis industry sponsor is based Downtown, German, Karl and I were lined up to pitch our projects and financial models to the global innovation head of this financial institution

Silicon Valley 2017: Day Three

After a day full of speakers on Monday, we were excited to mix things up on Tuesday and kick off the company visits. The day started again at the Notre Dame California campus where we heard from Jim McVeigh, ND alum and CEO/Co-founder of Cyndx. His company is a fin-tech firm with two divisions – Cyndx Advisors LLC and Cyndx Networks LLC. “Networks” uses data it obtains from third parties to recommend investors that licensors should target and provides data service platforms for communication between companies seeking capital/strategic opportunities with institutional investors. “Advisors” provides growth stage companies with access to experienced, licensed investment banking professionals. It was intriguing to learn about this innovative way of banking that utilizes data synthesis to match companies with potential investors.

Silicon Valley 2017: Day Two

After a successful and scattered collection of the ESTEEM class on Sunday night, our group was eagerly awaiting the Monday speakers and experiences to officially launch our trip to Silicon Valley. The day would unfold to reveal a series of innovative leaders in the Valley, followed by an awe-inspiring visit to the at Stanford University. It was officially time to put the Vegas casinos, Yosemite views and beach waves behind us when the larger-than-life Aisling MacRunnels stepped in front of us to kick off the morning at the AT&T building in downtown Palo Alto.…

Silicon Valley 2017: Day One

Zellerhoff Tori

Today we all made our way to Silicon Valley from pre-spring break trips all across the country. I came to the sunny 80 degree California day from Seattle, where I went skiing yesterday, so it was a bit of a weather change. I flew into San Jose (SJC) where I met up with Sarah Prezek, Nancy Nguyen, and Ethan Sauer to split an Uber to our hotel. Our driver happened to work at Accenture, which was funny because we will all be working at consulting firms after graduation (Avanade, Deloitte, and Booz Allen Hamilton). As he was driving he told us all about their innovation lab and pointed out cool companies that we passed on the way. When we arrived at the hotel he even took our picture.

ESTEEM Spring Break Silicon Valley Trek 2017

The ESTEEM Graduate Program is offering a unique spring break opportunity for junior STEM and Design majors! Every year, the ESTEEM Program takes all of its students to Silicon Valley for spring break, immersing them in one of the most innovative places in the world. Students tour start-ups and multi-billion dollar companies, have a chance to shadow a person/team at a company or venture capital firm for a day, and have multiple opportunities to network with venture capitalists, Notre Dame alumni, and others in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurship ecosystem. Past tours have included Uber, Google, Intersect ENT, Zeltiq, Lighting Motorcycle, IDEO, and the at Stanford.

Last Day in Silicon Valley & The Trip Home

Hard to believe we’re back in South Bend already.

The Hotel Aria Palo Alto

Friday was our last day in the rainy Silicon Valley. Last continental breakfast at the quaint Hotel Aria in Mountain View. Last haphazard piling into rented minivans. Last opportunity to cull as much insight about innovation from the hustlers, hackers, and hipsters here in the Valley leading the way into a very brave, new world. …

Day 4 in the Valley

After our day on Wednesday shadowing different people and visiting San Francisco, Thursday was a return to the non-stop schedule we had seen on Monday and Tuesday. We started the day off with a visit to Intersect ENT, a company based around the development of a solution for improving sinus pressure relief for patients after sinus surgery through the use of a small, dissolvable implant. After a brief presentation from CEO and President, Lisa Earnhardt, we had a brief Q&A with their research and development team followed by a tour of their facilities. We were able to see first-hand how their product was manufactured and packaged along with getting an idea of their overall business.…