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14 July 2016

A Journey to Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley

CityU MBA Entrepreneurship & Venture Plan Development Workshop
An intensive programme collaborated with UC Berkeley

A promising business plan is one of the essential cornerstones for business success throughout the entrepreneurial journey. This year, a group of CityU MBA participants joined the two-week "Entrepreneurship and Venture Plan Development" workshop at UC Berkeley campus and in Silicon Valley in July 2016. It was the third year that CityU MBA collaborated with Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley to work on this exciting programme on how to turn business ideas into promising venture plans that show business strategy and its future and how to craft pitches that help entrepreneurs obtain substantial support from investors.

Immerse in Silicon Valley’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Culture
Kick-started with the introduction of the Silicon Valley’s innovation and entrepreneurship culture by Haas faculty, participants learned the essentials of innovation process with business hypothesis, customer discovery, product and prototyping, opportunities recognition and validation. The programme also highlighted the importance and techniques of storytelling in presenting ideas to venture capital.

Visit Innovative & Successful Start-ups
Besides participating in series of interactive learning-by-doing activities on campus, the group also visited Google, one of the world’s most innovative companies as well as Nano Precision Medical, a start-up company developing devices to improve treatment for people suffering from chronic diseases, and, an e-commerce servicing company located in an incubator inside a San Francisco shopping mall. During the visits, the participants learned much from entrepreneurs of different business models, from how they started their ideas, pitched for funding and how to sustain their businesses.

Dialogue with Experienced Entrepreneurs
Participants were also introduced to an entrepreneur panel formed by experienced entrepreneurs from San Francisco start-up companies: New Avenue Homes, Magoosh and Hopsy. The panel openly disclosed their business challenges, triumphs and future ventures. They also shared some real-life examples and cases to have inspiring and interactive discussions with the participants.

Experience the journey
Participants grouped into 8 teams to work on their venture plans and presented to a panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs and venture capital investors in Silicon Valley at the end of the programme. Of all the presentations, the “Furry Home” team providing one-stop services in pets lodging for pets lovers won the best venture plan award. We believe that one of the most invaluable takeaways to all was the detailed feedback from the panel judges that help our participants to identify room for improvements for their future success.

Last but not least, Congratulations to the “Furry Home” team and all the other participants who completed this fruitful journey successfully.

Extended readings: CityU library’s newly featured Entrepreneurship Guide provides practical information and tips to help CityU students get started on the path of entrepreneurship. Start innovating now!