12 March 2016

Seeking the Secrets of Startups in Silicon Valley

A group of students from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar), Texas A&M at Qatar, and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar recently traveled to Silicon Valley to learn about innovation, entrepreneurship, disruptive technologies, and how to pitch for seed funding from venture capital companies.

During a packed itinerary the students met with senior executives from Google; Uber; Airbnb; Wearable IoT World Labs; social media games-maker Zynga; robotics company Anki; design consultancy Ideo; startup accelerator 500 Startups; and Quanergy, which specializes in automotive sensing technologies.

The students also met with a panel of successful Arab entrepreneurs, including Lebanese engineer Dr. Louay Eldada, the founder of Quanergy.

While there the students attended the Launch Festival, the world's largest startup event, which attracted up to 15,000 attendees this year, and had four stages, and 250 speakers. Attendees learned how to pitch to venture capital companies, learned about marketing strategies, and received social media communications tips.

Launch Festival attendees gave presentations on subjects including: ‘Building super fans like Taylor Swift’, ‘Moving from a startup to a repeatable revenue machine’, and ‘What we can learn from Uber in China’.  Awards were handed at the event out for the Best Business Model, Best Presentation, Best Social Good, Best Design, and Best Alumni, to name but a few.

The trip was organized and supported by Qatar Foundation, VCUQatar Dean Akel I. Kahera, and the AlFaisal Without Borders (ALF) Foundation.

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