Silicon Valley Trip 2022

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

ESTEEM '22 students at Plug and Play in Silicon ValleyESTEEM '22 students at Plug and Play in Silicon Valley

During the ESTEEM spring break trip to Silicon Valley, the students had the opportunity to meet and hear from a variety of distinguished entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate leaders. 

On the third night of the trip, ESTEEM hosted a Happy Hour on the rooftop deck at Plug and Play, where they were able to chat with many of these individuals. At this event, ESTEEM student Riley Ellingsen met several of the founders of a unique digital health startup, JISEKI, that delivers health and social benefit support via SMS. This immediately interests Ellingsen, who is interested in the intersection of healthcare and innovative technology. He even took the time to learn more about JISEKI services. 

JISEKI was gracious enough to host a small group of ESTEEM students the following day and Ellingsen was able to change his plans and attend. Over lunch, ESTEEM got to know the company better, gained a clearer understanding of its vision, and learned more about its impact. JISEKI has leveraged its technology to aid refugees, both Afghan and Ukrainian.JISEKI had invited two Afghan refugees to share their journeys since becoming refugees and describe how JISEKI had improved their lives.

Being introduced to JISEKI made Ellingsen realize  that the problem of health disparities is not due to a lack of resources but, rather, poor means of access. Before meeting the team at JISEKI, Ellingsen personal goal was to leverage my scientific background with newly formed technology and entrepreneurship skills to help “fix” the healthcare system. He now has a better understanding of how he can build products and companies that make positive impacts on health outcomes by designing elegant solutions that don’t necessarily require scrapping existing systems.