Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation continued its mission to immerse students in entrepreneurial action with its 11th installation of LehighSiliconValley (LSV) in the 2022 winter term. A cohort of 27 students participated in a hybrid program that combined remote-from-home and in-person sessions in San Francisco—an LSV first.
“We learned the value of the hybrid model,” said Baker Institute Executive Director Lisa Getzler. “Students got to know and trust each other by diving in head first on day one with an in-person live case at Factory LLC, three full days in the remote environment with guest experts and live cases from around the world, and four days to fully experience the live, in-person experience for which LSV is known.”
The hybrid model, which featured 27 guest instructors and experts and 14 companies, proved successful, allowing for students to form relationships and build momentum during the program’s remote days before joining together in-person ready to jump into a busy schedule.
“This group was committed to excellence, drove the program forward with their curiosity and proactive learning approach, and took advantage of everything LSV2022 had to offer,” Getzler said. “We were also incredibly fortunate that everyone involved on the ground in the Bay Area, from students to staff to guest instructors and visiting experts tested negative for Covid upon arrival, allowing us to safely hold our program sessions where masking and social distancing were practiced by all.”
From generating marketing strategies for an early-stage social app alongside its founder to driving conversations with innovation experts and entrepreneurs alike, students quickly found themselves not only thinking about entrepreneurship, but living it, too–and that was just the first half of the program.
In the four in-person days of sessions that followed, students deepened their understanding and practice of entrepreneurial thinking with longtime LSV guest instructors and experts: Sandy Stelling ‘91, Alaska Airlines; Tom Gillis ‘14P ‘16P ‘17P, VMware; Paul Martino ‘95, Bullpen Capital; Ann Lewnes ‘83, Adobe; and Tim Eades, vArmour.
“In my experience, it is great people that make great products and great products that make great companies,” shared LSV guest instructor Tom Gillis ‘14P ‘16P ‘17P of VMware. “Lehigh Silicon Valley connects highly talented students with the never ending swirl of opportunities in Silicon Valley. I’m really pleased to be part of it, and I see nothing but more engagement in the future.”