The SVB Trek is an annual four-day event sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank that aims to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of exceptional college students by introducing them to industry leaders and investors and giving them hands-on experience to help them succeed in bringing their ideas to fruition. Through Notre Dame California, Notre Dame junior Jaclyn Daily was selected to attend the 2017 SVB Trek. She has shared her experience with us.
I can truly say that this was one of the most unique experiences of my undergraduate education. I was able to connect and form meaningful relationships with a very diverse group of fellow entrepreneurs from so many well-respected universities. The diversity of the Trekkers provided me with the opportunity to learn from my peers’ very different experiences. Further, accomplished speakers shared their knowledge and provided valuable guidance. Our days were packed with informative and engaging activities.
Tuesday, January 3rd
• Icebreakers to get to know my accomplished fellow Trekkers.
• Ashraf Hebela, head of analytics and sales support for SVB, discussed the value of the strong Silicon Valley network and the importance of not taking your education for granted in his talk “Neural Map.”
• Q&A with SVB Trek alumni Andy Putch (DroneDeploy), Miranda Wang (BioCellection), and Kathryn “K.C.” Young (consultant).
• Dinner with Trekkers, speakers, staff, and SVB CFO Michael Descheneaux.
Wednesday, January 4th
• Clara Shih (Hearsay Systems) and Daniel Chao (Halo Neuroscience) spoke on the importance of knowing how to sell, being a product visionary, and managing people effectively in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.
• Jess Lee (Sequoia Capital) discussed the importance of self-awareness; as soon as you feel comfortable with your current position in life, seek to know more.
• Lunch with Pejman Nozad (Pear Ventures), who emphasized the importance of recognizing patterns amongst entrepreneurs.
• Meeting with Adam Nelson (Social Capital), who discussed the impact social investing can have.
• Dinner with Greg Becker, president and CEO of SVB
Thursday, January 5th
• Trip to SVB’s Palo Alto office.
• Mike Maples (Floodgate) discussed the forces that drive technological innovation.
• Gini Deshpande (NuMedii) spoke of her experiences in the medical field and provided advice on how to create a successful company with minimal business background.
• Raymond Nasr (cCommunications consultant) provided insights regarding the power of effective media management for a company.
• Tour of General Catalyst, where we spoke to partners and entrepreneurs; our discussions were followed by pitch sessions in which we were given the chance to present our startup ideas to the General Catalyst team.
Friday, January 6th
The Trek ended with a trip to IDEO, an international design and consulting firm, to engage in a workshop that required groups to utilize design thinking to solve a given problem. We tested our creativity and ability to generate a solution within a restricted period of time. Finally, we were given the opportunity to explore the SFMOMA and other areas of San Francisco.
I want to thank Notre Dame California for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the SVB Trek. The Trek surpassed all of my high expectations. I have the utmost respect for the SVB team for coordinating such an outstanding program in which participants were provided the opportunity to form relationships with some of Silicon Valley’s most influential individuals. Not only did the Trek develop my network and entrepreneurial skills, but the program also encouraged personal discernment and growth.