The Journey

I love the MBA program that I am in. The only thing missing was a student trek to Silicon Valley. I decided to try and organize one and here it is: www.iesemeetsthevalley.com.

Spearheading this project has been quite a journey, both as an aspiring entrepreneur and a project manager. Let me tell you more about this exciting project, the things we’ve done, how we got here and where we’re going.

The Journey of Entrepreneurship

A trip to Silicon Valley has a certain “coolness factor” of course, but the main reason for going is to learn first-hand about entrepreneurship and the tech industry. Silicon Valley is the place to be when it comes to entrepreneurship and the tech industry. This is where the interaction between capital and ideas is still the most intensive in the world.

This will be a learning experience… During the trip we will meet  startup founders, larger companies, incubators and investors. From them we will learn about– getting funded, developing products, do’s and dont’s, how to scale, how to find your team and how to do business overseas. Additionally, from investors we will learn — how they view business ideas, how they would like to be involved, how they treat entrepreneurs, what they look to for in founders and founding teams. We will get exposure on what it’s like to work in the Valley. The goal of this trip is for all of us to move forward on our journey to becoming entrepreneurs!

The journey of project management

I started this project alone but soon discovered how vast the scope was. I knew I needed help and sought-out people to help me organize. An announcement through the entrepreneurs club resulted the formation of our highly-committed main organizing committee. The project resulted in a complex web of contacts with people in the valley which needed to be organized. Every week we have been meeting for 1 hour. We go through our different work streams and organize the next weeks work load. This turned out to be a perfect rhythm as many things are happening each week. Coordinating a team has been immensely rewarding and getting to know each teammate has been a pleasure. The trip would not have been possible without the amazing team, so a big thanks goes out to: Arpit, Cortney, David and Stephen. We have all devoted a lot of time and energy to this project and it is very satisfying to see what it is becoming.

Currently, more than 15 companies have agreed so see us and we are in talks with many more. I am very thankful for all the companies and individuals that are giving us their valuable time. We have been targeting startups, companies with entrepreneurial / tech roots, or an amazing story to tell. Also, we’ve been trying to find stories on both sides of the investment table. Our list includes some pretty impressive names and many people ask me how we got them. I will devote a different blog post on this but basically we got them all through networking. Speaking of which, this trip is also a great opportunity to expand any MBA student’s network for future opportunities. An additional benefit is that companies will also meet IESE students first hand and learn more about the students and school.

Besides the companies, we have setup other parts of the trip to ease the admin and operations side of things. First, we have a very attractive travel package, having negotiated a great discount which includes flight, hotel and local transportation. Second, we’ve launched a website (www.iesemeetsthevalley.com) which has proven to be an effective communication tool for both companies and students.  Third, we’ve setup all the administrative processes to allow students to easily sign up and pay for the trip.

From this experience, I’ve learned so much and have found myself moving forward on my journey of becoming an entrepreneur, a better project manager and a better net-worker.

 

 

Thanks to Candice and Graham in helping me write this post. You are both great teachers for a non-native speaker when it comes to writing!