Summer 2016 Silicon Valley Innovation Academy Finale

Another summer of the Silicon Valley Innovation Academy (SVIA) has come and gone but the finale was a great way to wrap-up a successful and exciting summer. 8 teams of 3 to 6 students presented their new business ideas to a panel of 4 prestigious entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.

The Cemex Auditorium set the grand stage for these student-entrepreneurs and their ideas. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. These students worked hard for 6 weeks to develop their business idea and they were finally getting the opportunity to gain valuable feedback from a panel that was once in their shoes. Not to mention, there was an audience of over 350 people that came to watch and learn from these students.

Each team had exactly 5 minutes to pitch their company followed by a debriefing with the panel. In those 5 minutes, each team described the journey that their companies went through-from the numerous business model canvases, to pivoting, to the number of contacts they had with potential customers. The ideas that filled the Cemex stage were inspiring, fun, and innovative. Some teams were in the healthcare sector trying to solve important problems for patients and their caregivers. Other teams were developing apps to improve standards of living, and some created social platforms that are fun and innovative. Awards were given to teams who demonstrated excellence in specific areas such as “Biggest Problem” referring to the biggest problem that a team was trying to solve.

William Treseder, partner at BMNT, and facilitator of the SVIA program expressed the success he saw at the finale. “The Finale is an amazing opportunity for the student teams to get feedback from a range of experienced entrepreneurs and investors. They got a chance to show how much they could learn in seven short weeks, despite a full course load. SVIA teams demonstrated huge progress with their startup ideas, impressing people from Silicon Valley’s storied incubators, YCombinator and 500 Startups.”

All students in SVIA accomplished a great amount in a short timeframe. Frankly, what they accomplished was incredible. Their ideas will continue to grow beyond the 7 week SVIA program, and we look forward to seeing their innovations in the years to come.


Check out this video of the SVIA Finale! Congratulations to all participants!