The Program

SVIA offers two programs, Enterprise and Explore, that gives students varying levels of exposure to the Valley. Students should consider time commitment, passion, cost, and level of interaction with Silicon Valley when choosing the program that works best for them.

Enterprise

SVIA Enterprise is an exclusive opportunity for 80 students to see, touch, taste, hear and feel the culture of Silicon Valley–a hands-on startup experience that takes you through the process from napkin to prototype. SVIA gives you the opportunity to spend 7 weeks learning from expert coaches and mentors throughout Silicon Valley. Stanford Summer Session supports your journey with access to leaders of innovation and ideation through panels, site visits and coaching sessions. Top student teams will have the chance to present ideas to successful entrepreneurs at the SVIA Finale. To catch a glimpse into what the program is like for students, hear directly from our students at the SVIA Medium page.

Explore

The SVIA Explore program is a unique opportunity for visiting high school and university level students to experience Silicon Valley through panels of entrepreneurs and investors, site visits to dynamic companies, and opportunities to network with Valley professionals. Students will be exposed to the culture of startups, and they will gain valuable knowledge from leading innovators.

Program Components Comparison Chart

The following chart compares the Explore and Enterprise program, including events that students participate in, estimates on time commitment, and cost. Below the chart is a description of each event to gain a better understanding of what is involved in each program component. The Summer Session calendar will be updated to reflect exact dates of when events are occurring.

Enterprise

Explore

Number of students in program

Approximately 80 students Approximately 120 students

Time commitment per student

50 hours + 20 for business development 25 hours

Program fee

$1,200 $600

Welcome Dinner and Mixer

1 1

Pitch Workshop

1 Not available to students in the Explore program.

Problem Pitch

1

Search Versus Execution: Finding and Solving a Problem

1

Talking to Humans

1

Building Your Team

1

Experimenting: MVPs and Prototypes

1

Final Pitch Rehearsal

1

Finalist Selection

1

SVIA Finale

1 SVIA Explore participants are welcome to attend as an audience member.

Site Visits

3 2

Sprints

2 1

Valley Ecosystem Panels

2 2

Industry Lunches

2 1

Problem-Centric Innovation

Not available to students in the Enterprise program. 1

Program Descriptions and Schedule at a Glance

Week 1

Welcome Dinner and Mixer

Students in SVIA will kick off the summer getting to know each other, the program, and the team that will be leading you through the summer chalked full of innovation and problem-solving.

Pitch Workshop

Every great idea involves a great pitch. Whether it’s drawing initial co-founders, inspiring potential partners, or eventually seeking financing, the ability to tell a great, concise story about the problem you are solving and your process is essential. Innovators will be led through this process in preparation for the concept pitch.

Problem Pitch

SVIA participants with an idea will offer a brief, one minute presentation of their initial concepts to other SVIA attendees. In a blitz, you will recruit or join a team of four to help develop that idea throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, if your team is chosen, your team gets to pitch the idea to investors.

Week 2

Search Versus Execution: Finding and Solving a Problem

At the root of every great company is a big problem that needs to be solved. Problems are the currency of Silicon Valley. Newly-formed teams will go through a workshop to develop an understanding of how to identify these problems, test hypotheses about them, and eventually build a strong solution.

Week 3

Talking to Humans

Businesses either solve a pain or provide a gain for a person. In order to solve a tangible problem, it is important for businesses to get out of their theoretical work and engage with specific individuals who will ultimately buy the product or service. Founders need to get out and talk with real humans to learn about their problems, and determine the best way to address them.

Week 4

Building Your Team

One of the most important things that determines the success of a project is the team around it.  Do they have the skills to bring the concept to fruition?  Are they dedicated and flexible?  Should they be employees, contractors, or advisors?  Can you get their skills for cheaper (or even for free) through another route?  This workshop guides participants through the process of expanding their team, to consider how to properly scale.

Week 5

Experimenting: MVPs and Prototypes

Once you pass the first hurdle of identifying an unmet need and building a team, you will consider how to quickly and cheaply test central hypotheses by building prototypes that efficiently harness the essence of your solutions.

Explore Workshop: Problem-Centric Innovation

While the media likes to talk about how Silicon Valley turns magical ideas into billion-dollar companies, the reality is quite different. Instead, great companies are built upon as solution to an important problem. Problems are the currency of Silicon Valley. This workshop helps participants develop an understanding of how to identify these problems, test hypotheses about them, and eventually build a strong solution.

Week 6

Presentation Rehearsal

Silicon Valley professionals will provide personalized advice and mentorship to teams through panel discussions. Take this opportunity to ask specific questions and learn directly from area innovators while refining your project and pitch.

Week 7

Finalist Selection

SVIA teams will get a short window of time to pitch their team’s developed idea. SVIA participants will then vote to decide who gets to pitch their concept at the Finale.

SVIA Finale

The top teams selected from the Academy will pitch to successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with the other teams watching in the live audience. Members of the Stanford community are invited to the finale and the auditorium is packed full waiting to hear your ideas. This high-pressure experience will be your chance to take the stage and spotlight. Teams should detail implementation of ideas and demonstrate confidence, professionalism and high-functioning teamwork.

Programs that Occur Throughout the Summer

Experiencing the Innovation Ecosystem

Explore Lean Startup modeling, execution, and the unique assets that support innovation in Silicon Valley through site visits to local tech firms. Past site visits have included Atheer, IDEO, and Playground Global.

SVIA Sprint

Building a product has never been easier, providing untold opportunities for customer feedback and rapid iteration. In eight hours, led by acclaimed product developers, one hundred students will come together to create an On­Demand, Uber­for­X­style startup. They will split into core function teams: product development, marketing, sales, and more, and build the central product of a new company.

Exploration of the Valley Panel

Silicon Valley professionals will provide personalized advice and mentorship to teams through panel discussions. Take this opportunity to ask specific questions and learn directly from area innovators while refining your project and pitch.

Industry Lunch

Innovators, product developers, and tech experts will address your questions in a roundtable format for an in-depth exploration of how they help solve problems and innovate. This is your chance to get personalized feedback for your team and to gain valuable knowledge about the tech industry.