For one week in May, Martae Giometti ChE ’13, Grace Kording CpE ’15, and Paul Pelullo EE ’15 joined a select group of 12 Villanova students from across campus for the inaugural Villanova in the Valley program (V in V), an immersion experience designed to complement initiatives available through the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Center by exposing students to the unique ecosystem of the Silicon Valley.
“Villanova in the Valley was a wonderful opportunity for students of diverse academic backgrounds to learn about the entrepreneurial process, from the conception of a product or service to acquiring funding and eventually marketing the final design,” says Giometti. “As an engineer, I enjoyed observing the strong role that engineers play in driving innovation in the Valley. The wisdom imparted to us by the alumni and speakers we met was invaluable, and I left the trip with an understanding of the extreme passion necessary to succeed in the Valley”.
Participants met with investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators from start-up and large companies to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship; capital formation and liquidity; corporate culture, purpose, and values; and career and work-life balance. They also learned what makes the region unique, the opportunities and challenges it presents, and what it takes to thrive there.
The group visited the offices of Twitter, Google, and Facebook, and also met with representatives from companies such as CoreMetrics, VertaScale, Tivo, Apple, Verizon, Trinet, and Guardian Analytics, among others. They also had the opportunity to network with Villanova alumni from the Silicon Valley and Northern California areas.
The first cohort included representatives from the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, and the Villanova School of Law. Participants were selected through a competitive application process, which included a written submission detailing their interest in the program, how the experience would impact their academic and personal pursuits, and their expectations for the program. Program organizers plan to make V in V an annual learning opportunity.