The Griggs Center and School of IT & Computing will co-sponsor a student trip to Silicon Valley over fall break, giving students an opportunity to experience the entrepreneurial world in a new environment.
“The trip intentionally tries to involve both business and technology students, giving them exposure to the entrepreneurial process from small startups to established leaders,” said Dr. Brad Crisp, director of the school of information technology and computing.
The Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy is an organization that oversees a variety of programs on campus such as Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Wildcat Venture. It is directed by Dr. Jim Litton and located in COBA.
Around a dozen students will travel with Litton and Crisp to the Bay Area to tour and experience America’s top city for tech-startups. They will visit established, world-leading companies and new startup businesses.
The trip focuses on entrepreneurship, and will give students a new perspective of the business world in which many hope to one day be involved.
Rudy Garza, junior marketing major from Corpus Christi, is one of the students attending.
“Entrepreneurship is my focus, so that’s why I’m coming on the trip,” he said. “It kind of centers around that in a lot of ways.”
While in California, the group will visit large companies such as Silicon Valley Bank, a commercial bank with a focus on lending to technological startup companies. They also plan to visit the head offices of LinkedIn, the social networking site designed to connect professional businesses and businesspeople.
“I’m probably honestly most looking forward to visiting LinkedIn,” Garza said. “I’m really big on their company and what they do. That’s done wonders for me even in just my collegiate experience and in my career track already. Just to see how they operate and how they innovate on a day-to-day basis.”
Another item on the itinerary is a trip to Stanford to explore the campus and get exposed to its brand of entrepreneurship.
“It’s kind of like visiting their Griggs Center, per se,” Garza said.
A visit to Google’s head offices is also an option, but Garza is unsure whether that plan will go through or not.
The group will visit small startup companies to get a glimpse of both ends of the business spectrum.
“We try to do a little bit of both,” Garza said. “That way, students get a taste of companies that are established and are still entrepreneurial in an innovative sense, but then we also give them a taste of the very small, on the ground, just-trying-to-make-it kind of (businesses).”
Garza believes the opportunity to experience the corporate culture of Silicon Valley will be beneficial to him and the other students involved.
The businesses the group plans to visit are thriving companies in today’s corporate world and have lessons to give Garza and fellow students.
“These companies are very high-structure, but still have to innovate as if they were a startup that could change things on the fly,” Garza said.