Students Dive into Real-World Entrepreneurship Experiences at Lehigh Silicon Valley 2018
Shannon Varcoe, center, innovations program manager for Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, which organizes LehighSiliconValley, instructs students in the program at Lehigh@Nasdaq Center.
Sandy Stelling ’91, managing director of process engineering at Alaska Airlines, shares her journey applying systems engineering to innovate through several jobs and fields in the airline industry at a dinner for LehighSiliconValley students and guests.
Joe Blair ’05 ’07G, right, co-founder of Obvious Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in companies that deliver positive social and environmental benefits, visits with LehighSiliconValley students at Bullpen Capital in San Francisco’s Financial District.
Tom Gillis ’15P, ’17P, ’19P, founder and CEO of Bracket Computing, speaks to LehighSiliconValley students in the Software Engineering track at the Bracket Computing office in Mountain View, California.
LehighSiliconValley students in the Software Engineering track tour the expansive Google Campus in Mountain View, California.
Ted Selker speaks to the LehighSiliconValley Design Thinking track students at Lehigh@NasdaqCenter. Selker is a computer scientist known for his user interface inventions and as a creator and tester of new scenarios working with computing systems. Selker consults to help startups and large companies and leads innovation workshops.
Emma Isaacs ’19, generates ideas at a “Design Sprint” during LehighSiliconValley. A sprint is a time-constrained process in which participants use design thinking to go through five steps—Understand, Diverge, Converge, Prototype, and Test—to generate new ideas for bringing a product, service or feature to market.
Founders of two startup companies that have completed Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s Milestone Makers program talk with LehighSiliconValley students during the “Design Sprint.” At center is Lisa Getzler, executive director of Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.
Teri Llach, chief marketing officer of BlackHawk Network, a global financial technology company, speaks to LehighSiliconValley students in the FinTech (Financial Technology) track at Lehigh@NasdaqCenter.
Fifty-six Lehigh students kicked off 2018 with their participation in the seventh annual LehighSiliconValley, an immersive and highly selective three-credit course set in California’s Silicon Valley. Presented by Lehigh University and the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, LehighSiliconValley allows students to meet with and learn from experts, entrepreneurs, inventors, venture capital investors, product design experts and others during a rich real-world experience designed to enhance students’ own entrepreneurial ventures.
The first half of the program was based in the Lehigh@NasdaqCenter space in the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, located in San Francisco’s financial district. Lehigh@NasdaqCenter is an academic-in-residence collaboration between Lehigh University and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. There, students spent time with key players in the venture community and participated in site visits to companies including Lunar Design, Boost VC, Adobe, Zipline and Bullpen Capital. Students then divided into pre-selected tracks—Design Thinking, FinTech and Software Engineering—for a more in-depth experience with experts in each particular field.
“It is common knowledge that college education in its traditional lecture format, even at an institution as reputable as Lehigh University, often struggles with bridging the seemingly large gap between classroom material and its real world applications,” wrote computer science and engineering student Tinotenda Petros ’20 on the LehighSiliconValley student blog. “The LehighSiliconValley program is one of the best ways that Lehigh University closes this gap particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship and technology. Over the week I have been in the LSV program, the most rewarding realizations I have had are those that have helped me appreciate my classroom material better and see why and how that material applies in the real world.”
For more photos of the event, visit Lehigh’s Tumblr page.
Photos by Christa Neu