Day Three of ESTEEM in Silicon Valley: 3/11/20

Author: Melissa Serrano

Namrata Borah, Leanne Tang, and Lilly Piz, ESTEEM '20Namrata Borah, Leanne Tang, and Lilly Piz, ESTEEM '20

Today was the Day 3 of our Silicon Valley trip! This morning started at GSV Labs, a startup accelerator in the area. GSV's CEO, Nikhil Sinha, started off the morning speaking to us about his innovations to the investment firm including his mission to democratize Silicon Valley through an online platform. After speaking to us about his history at Coursera and his innovations at GSV Labs, we moved on to our pitch competition! 

The pitch competition was composed of 6 teams from the ESTEEM cohort:

  • Anshul Dhingra and Nick Wilt pitched Cold Brew Fuel, a natural pre-workout alternative
  • Rian McDonnell pitched FlowWaste, an initiative to reduce food waste in cafeterias
  • Conor Brady pitched an intelligent risk assessment platform
  • Ellen Joyce pitched Digital Leader Academy, an initiative to bring entrepreneurship into high schools
  • Dr. Chuck Meakin pitched CareOncology, a company attacking cancer from an entrepreneurial mindset
  • LaShantay Walls and Lilly Piz pitched W.E.R.C., an initiative to bring women of color into executive potions in the workplace 

All of the pitches were amazing and it has been incredible to see how far my classmates have come since their first 3MC pitches. 

Rian ended up winning for the Best Pitch and Conor won for Best Idea If You Can Actually Do It.

We had a few more speakers after the pitches, including Joe Schmidt ND'15, who spoke to us about his journey graduating as a student-athlete and joining a VC company and now working at an insurance startup called Ethos.
Andreas Stavropoulos, a Harvard graduate, also spoke to us about his work investing in emerging technologies including AI and cloud computing.
Our last speaker for the day was Prof. Frank Flynn from Stanford University, who had us do an interactive decision-making exercise to highlight the importance of reliable data and bias in analyzing that data. 

A Beautiful California Sunset

At the end of the day, we went to Tom and Lisa Stephenson's beautiful home in the San Mateo hills. The Stephensons were kind enough to invite the class and staff to a networking event with some top executives in the area.
Overall, it was another very busy day with so many opportunities to network, learn and enjoy time with our classmates.