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Vanguard programme

Are you ready?! We are so excited that you will be joining us for this incredible opportunity to learn about the Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem.

Before we go

In the lead up to the trip Deb and Darsel will be working with you to help think more deeply about the best way to engage with the amazing people you will get to meet. In the meantime, here are some readings that will help you frame your thinking.

The New Zealand government asks every traveller to complete this Traveller Declaration. Please send us the completed form by Friday 26 August.

The next time you’ll see the group is on Saturday 3 September at 4 pm at the Auckland Airport (International Terminal, inside at Door 5), where you’ll receive:

  • Your flight ticket – printed
  • International vaccination pass – printed
  • Itinerary – printed
  • US SIM card
  • Card with all the mobile phone numbers of the group – printed (do please keep this save, so in case you lose your phone, you still know how to reach someone)
  • Keep cup
  • Name tag

Carry on packing checklist:
Please ensure you have your passport with you, as well as your ESTA visa.

The University of Auckland backpacks are your Daypacks in the US, however for your carry-on luggage on the plane, feel free to use a different (larger) bag. We recommend you put a change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case there’s a delay with receiving your checked-in luggage

Vanguard International Travel Checklist

Essential reading:

Day One

Arrive at International Terminal of Auckland Airport at 4 pm, inside at Door 5, for group check-in.

Afternoon – Arrive in San Francisco
Evening – Acclimatising walking tour and dinner

Day Two

Morning – Kick-off Workshop: Programme overview expectations and your role as learners, then Doing Business in the US: Will Lomax and Sophie Kilpatrick
Afternoon – San Francisco a Global City hop on and off tour
Evening – Bowling

Day Three

Morning – The Advantages of Scale: Apple store, Nike store, and Whole foods
Afternoon – From the University of Auckland via MIT to Google: Manu Sharma, Product Planning, Google at Salesforce Park
Evening – Dinner

Day Four

Morning – Opportunities for New Zealand in the Bay Area: Ruth Macleod, NZ Trade Commissioner, then Building an international sustainable consumer brand: Tim Brown, Allbirds
Afternoon – From the University of Auckland to Harvard and a US entrepreneurial career: Dr Priv Bradoo, cofounder of Strive and WEF Young Global Leader
Evening – Adventures in Innovation – San Francisco Alumni and Friends Reception: Darsel Keane, Deb Shepherd and students sharing learnings of 20 years in entrepreneurship education

Day Five

Morning – Silicon Valley – past, present, and future. An investor and ecosystem builder perspective: Randy Komisar, Kleiner Perkins, then Industry 4.0 led by Amar Virk (Stripe, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, and various VC backed startups)
Afternoon – Financing the Innovation Economy: Silicon Valley Bank, then The Future of Healthcare: Synthego – Startup story and site visit
Evening – From the University of Auckland to Stanford and the Technology Giants: Dinner hosted by UoA alumnus Bowen Pan, Stripe (prev. Dropbox and Facebook) and Maya Pan, Facebook

Day Six

Morning – From the University of Auckland to MIT and a career in Music and Entertainment Technology: Priyanka Shekar
Afternoon – Microsoft: Site visit, the future of technology
Evening – Debrief and consolidate learnings

Day Seven

Morning – Stanford DSchool site visit, Google X site visit, then from the University of Auckland to Stanford, Educational Technology and Google X: Bethany Maples
Afternoon – Amazon Web Services site visit
Evening – Final dinner

Last day

Morning – History of Silicon Valley: Computer Museum Silicon Valley tour
Evening – Depart to Auckland

Thank you Tony

The Vanguard programme is made possible through the generosity of philanthropist and entrepreneur Tony Falkenstein, who believes in the power of business to positively impact on people’s lives. The Onehunga-raised chief executive of Just Water believes passionately in business education. “I would love to see a day where every university student would spend a semester overseas, whether it be experiencing another university, working in a large company or start-up, or seeing the collaboration of ideas in Silicon Valley. The Vanguard Programme gives that privilege to a few, and hopefully the start of a programme for many,” says Falkenstein.

Tony Falkenstein