By Jake Mendel, Early Stage Practice @ Silicon Valley Bank in NYC
Every January, Silicon Valley Bank invites a select group of university students from around the world to come to Silicon Valley for the SVB Trek. Over four days, the cohort is introduced to the people leading our ecosystem — founders, investors, and industry leaders that we refer to as “guides”— through an immersive learning experience featuring intimate fireside chats, curated dinners, and hands-on workshops. Our goal is to help the students create and maintain relationships with world-class peers and mentors. Our hope is that these relationships will serve as the foundation for their networks as they become founders, investors, and industry leaders themselves.
Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of this year’s guides:
- Jeff Rothschild, Serial Founder and Investor
- Tomas Tunguz, Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures
- Phil Libin, Cofounder & CEO of All Turtles, Cofounder of Evernote
- Michael Seibel, CEO and Partner at YCombinator
- Kat Manalac, Partner at YCombinator
- Peter Boyce, Founder of Rough Draft Ventures and VC at General Catalyst
- Alaa Halawa, VC at Mubadala
- Renata Quintini, Partner at Lux Capital
- Shruti Gandhi, Founder and General Partner at Array VC
- Ulili Onovakpuri, Partner at Kapor Capital
- Varun Jain, Head of Global Early-Stage Fund at Qualcomm Ventures
- Raymond Nasr, Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business
We’re also excited to welcome back alumni from previous Trek cohorts:
- Alston Clark, Cofounder at Howard University Blockchain Labs
- Josh Browder, Founder at DoNotPay
- Miranda Wang, Cofounder and CEO at BioCellection
- Morgan Cheatham, Investor at Bessemer Venture Partners
- Riley Noland, Advisor & Scout at Xfund
We work side-by-side with leading universities from around the world to build a cohort of students with diverse academic, professional, and personal experiences with a unified desire to become the next generation of innovators. While exposure to the guides is an incredible experience, it’s our belief that the peer-to-peer relationships fostered during Trek have the most impact — Trek alum have gone on to become co-founders, clients, and investors in each others companies.
This year’s cohort stats at glance: 26 students, from 21 schools and 6 countries from a broad range of programs (undergrad, MBA, PhD, and M.Sc.) and areas of study (Comp Sci., Mech Eng., Finance, Neurobiology, Data Science, Aerospace Eng., Economics, Applied Mathematics, Political Sci., Sociology, Behavioral Ecology, +more)!
So without further ado — introducing the 2019 SVB Trek Cohort:
* Awarded the Silicon Labs Fellowship, Kirchner Food Fellowship, and Mexico National Youth Award — Developing a wearable technology that creates useable electricity out of kinetic energy + a gamification platform to entice a new generation of agricultural workers
* PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University
* Contributor to College Hill Independent and New York Minute Magazine — prev. worked on Twitter’s machine learning team
* Bachelors, Computer Science and Cognitive Science, Brown University
*Cofounder & President of Pinetart — known for developing Five-O, an internationally acclaimed mobile police rating application. Cofounder of K12YouthCode, first national competition for Scratch coding.
* Bachelors, Computer Science, Cornell University
Youngil (Brian) Cho
* CEO & Founder of Resonado — a hardware startup that is redefining the shape of sound by developing a flat core speaker.
* Bachelors, Finance and Applied Mathematics, University of Notre Dame
* Incoming consultant at Bain & Co. in Chicago
* Bachelors, Business, Indiana University
* Developing Apothecary, a data-driven skincare consultation service
* Bachelors, Neurobiology and Computer Science, Harvard College
* Chief Recording Officer of Tech Retain and Unite in Science and Technology. Bison STEM Scholar
* Bachelors, Computer Science, Howard University
* Director Emeritus of Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency. Venture Parner at Genesis. Incoming Product Manager at Uber.
* Bachelors, Management Information Systems, University of Texas at Austin
Ekaterina (Kate) Lait
* President of Trinity Entrepreneurial Society. Recipient of the Women in Technology Scholarship from Intel. Incoming Tech intern at Bank of America. Prev. Technology Leadat Biological Optical Prevention
* Bachelors, Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin
* Recipient of the 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Forbes U30 Contributor. 2016 LinkedIn Top Voice. Completed 5 internships at Boeing across R&D, Commercial Airlines, Defense, Space and Security. Partner at Rough Draft Ventures in Boston.
* Masters, Aerospace Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
* Founder & CEO of GECO, a startup developing bioplastic that is 100% biodegradeable from orange waste. Global Shaper delegate from the World Economic Forum. Ranked #1 nationally at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)
* Bachelors, Economics, Tecnológico de Monterrey
* Cofounder of Combplex, a company utilizing electrical engineering and animal behavior to detect and eliminate parasites that kill bees, increasing agricultural sustainability.
* PhD, Behavioral Ecology, Cornell University
* Founder of Boresha, a supply chain tool to improve transparency and reduce costs throughout the milk supply chain in Africa. Awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, Skoll Venture Award, and accepted into Oxford Foundry.
* Masters, Social Data Science, University of Oxford
Andrea Valdettaro Zavala
* Product Marketing Analyst (Global) at UPS, fmr. Business Operations Management at IBM.
* Masters, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, University of Southern California
* Manufacturing Representation for Youth Solutions, a New Orleans-based organization that hires and trains youth while addressing the lack of bus stop shelters in NOLA neighborhoods. Resident entrepreneur at Xncubator. Finalist at TCU’s 2018 Values and Ventures competition.
* Bachelors, Sociology, Xavier University of Louisiana
* Investment Analyst at Hyde Park Venture Partners, Portfolio Manager at Redhawk Ventures. Placed #3 in the National Venture Capital Investment Competition at the undergraduate level.
* Bachelors, Marketing, Miami University of Ohio
* Founder & CEO of GirlsComputingLeague.org, a non-profit making computer science accessible to any student, regardless of gender, race, age, or socioeconomic status. 2017 WebMD Health Hero, Thiel Fellow Finalist, 2018 Davidson Fellow Laureate, 2018 Presidential Scholar, Time Most Influential Teen 2018, and recently published a TedX talk on precision medicine.
* Bachelors, Neuroscience and Computer Science, Harvard College
* Partner at Rough Draft Ventures. Prev. M&A at Time Inc. and Ops at Uber.
* Masters, MBA, Harvard Business School
* CEO & Founder of Pnyka, a software platform for hosting virtual town halls. Vice-chair of Youth Art Exchange, a non-profit providing arts programming for underprivileged high school students in San Francisco.
* Masters, MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business
* Founder of Moodcafe, a mental-health startup that uses a combination of best-in-class practices and artificial intelligence to deliver an empathetic caring approach to mental well-being.
* Masters, Management, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
* Managing Director at Free Ventures. Venture Fellow at Rough Draft Ventures. Prev. interned with Facebook, Tanium, and Texas Instruments
* Bachelors, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Berkeley
* Founder & CEO of Invicted, a company creating positive criminal justice outcomes for people and communities, using a human-centered design approach. Prev. US Army Attorney.
* Masters, MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business
* CFO and Teacher at Cai Yun Zhi Nan — an education advocacy organization supporting the remote mountainous regions of China. Prev. at Louis Vuitton and Formula One Grand Prix.
* Masters, MBA, Fudan University Shanghai