EI Stays Busy Over Spring Break

March 21, 2013

NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative sponsored its annual Spring Break trip to Silicon Valley March 3-7. A dozen EI students were selected to travel to the Bay Area, which included visits to a variety of start-ups and entrepreneurial-minded companies.

“The perspective that many had in Silicon Valley–the can-do, nothing is impossible kind of attitude– was really encouraging. The connections that we acquired will someday, I’m sure, help us out in the future,” explained Zack Milburn, Poole College of Management student.

Students participated in small group discussions with entrepreneurial leaders, many of whom are NC State alumni, as well as toured their facilities. Apple, LiveRamp, Flextronics, IDEO, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyer, Launchpad Toys, NEST, Prezi, Vantage Point Capital Ventures, and Echelon generously hosted the EI group.

According to College of Engineering student Sean Echevarria, “Networking is a huge component of being an entrepreneur, and this trip expanded my network more than I could have imagined.”

Students agreed the best part of the trip was being surrounded by entrepreneurs, from the companies they visited to their fellow students and NC State alumni. Students witnessed firsthand the passion that an entrepreneur must have to bring an idea to fruition.

“Meeting NCSU alumni on the trip gave me new perspective on the direction I want my life to take post-graduation. I feel totally inspired to keep pushing myself as a young entrepreneur, and I hope to have a story to tell in a few years like some of the ones we heard in Silicon Valley,” said Anna Wolfe, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

While the majority of the Silicon Valley trip consisted of company visits, students spent time in San Francisco and at Stanford University. Even meals reflected the entrepreneurial spirit! NC State students dined with alumni at Delancey Street Restaurant in San Francisco, a real life example of social entrepreneurship.

“I understand the entrepreneurship lifestyle better, and have a better understanding of what it takes to start a company,” said Garrett Cura, College of Engineering.

Andrew Jarrard, College of Engineering, added “Seeing the enthusiasm and opportunity in Silicon Valley really sparked my motivation to continue pursuit as an entrepreneur.”

Application information for Silicon Valley 2014 will be available this fall. Visit our blog, The STATEment, to see pictures from this year’s trip.