Business Study Mission - Silicon Valley
Monday May 09,2016
2nd – 9th May 2016
The recent Business Study Mission (BSM) to Silicon Valley led by Professor Virginia Cha, Entrepreneur In-Residence of Singapore Management University exposed the BSM students to a variety of uprising start-ups from different industries.
Students not only get to experience the entrepreneurship culture and ecosystem in Silicon Valley but also had hands-on learning working with the various start-ups. Throughout the duration of the course, students had to analyse their assigned start-ups using the frameworks that was taught in class. They met the founders in person and provided valuable research and asian insights as the students presented their final proposals.
To further enhance the experience in Silicon Valley, students visited a few start-up companies to learn about what they do. Some founders even shared their personal entrepreneurial experiences. Patrick Lee, co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes and current founder of Hobolabs, a gaming company left a great impression. He provided valuable insights into what it takes to build a start-up from ideation to eventually running and managing one. He shared that one should not spend too much time researching but instead should just build the idea right away. This is because by researching extensively, the person would either find something similar to his or her idea which may already have a significant market size or presence and thus fear to enter the field or find something similar which had failed and thus avoid entering it all together. He suggests that building and testing quickly through cheaper means which do not require large amount of resources and commitments is a more viable option. In conclusion, in his own words, “it is not so much about waiting for the single brilliant idea but to keep trying until you find success. “
Singapore entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, Mark Seeger is now living in the United States was invited to provide students with a different perspective. He shared with the students his business analysis. For example, how he analysed the drone technology to be most commercially viable in the logistics and delivery space and went on to filter into 4 start-ups in the world pursuing it. After laying out the thesis, he then needs to decide which team could best execute the business. That entire train of thought is not only logical but it gives direction and actionable insights to a venture capitalist who wants to better navigate our current world that is overloaded with information.
Sharing and trust are traits commonly witnessed in the people at Silicon Valley. Everyone is opened to help anyone out in hopes of discovering the next “Steve Jobs” or the next big idea. As such, friendships were forged at the many networking events and thank you dinners, paving the way for future internship and job opportunities.
Entrepreneurship aside, no visit to Silicon Valley is complete without a trip to the famous Stanford University and Painted Ladies where the BSM students had the oportunity to also have some relax and recreation.