Tailor-made for participants who plan to start-up their own business, the two-week Entrepreneurship and Venture Plan Development Workshop held at UC Berkeley in March 2018 covered the skill sets required from formulating ideas to crafting pitches for venture capital.
Immerse in Silicon Valley’s Innovation Culture
Kick-started with the introduction of the Silicon Valley’s innovation and entrepreneurship culture by Haas faculty, participants learned the essentials of innovation process with business hypothesis, customer discovery, product and prototyping, opportunities recognition and validation. The programme also highlighted the importance and techniques of storytelling in presenting ideas to venture capitals.
Nurture Global Perspectives
Other than theory-based lectures, the programme highlighted the global trends and reports on technology and investment markets that broadened participants’ global mindset. Similar to previous years, not only renowned academics, but veteran practitioners were invited to share their firsthand experiences to our participants. This year, Ms. Maura O’Neill, the former President Obama's first Chief Innovation Officer for USAID and Mr. Sean Foote, an experienced venture capitalist with over 15-year investing in early stage companies were invited to share insights in Go-to-Market strategies and profit models on capital management respectively.
Visit Innovative Start-ups
Besides participating in series of interactive learning-by-doing activities on campus, the group also visited innovative start-ups such as Ocho Candy, HAX, and Eargo. They also grasped a quick tour opportunity around Google, one of the world’s most innovative companies. During the visits, the participants learned much from entrepreneurs of different business models, from how they started their ideas, pitched for funding and how to sustain their businesses.
Dialogue with Experienced Entrepreneurs
Participants were also introduced to an entrepreneur panel formed by experienced entrepreneurs from San Francisco start-up companies: NeuroTrainer, Shop.co, and Unite Genomics. The panel openly disclosed their business challenges, triumphs and future ventures. They also shared some real-life examples and cases to have inspiring and interactive discussions with the participants.
Real-life Pitching to VC Investors
Participants grouped into teams to work on their venture plans and presented to a panel of judges comprised of Haas faculty, entrepreneurs and venture capital investors in Silicon Valley at the end of the programme. One of the most invaluable takeaways to all participants was the detailed feedback from the panel judges that help our participants to identify room for improvements for their future success.