Each year in September a cohort travels to Silicon Valley for one week. The cohort consist of Velocity students and selected winners of the Velocity $100k Challenge. The seven day tour includes visiting successful (start-up) companies and innovative organisations, and connecting with the Silicon Valley start-up eco-system.
About the Vanguard programme
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.
Who is it designed for?
Selected, high-achieving, entrepreneurial students receive an invitation to apply to the Vanguard programme. After a competitive selection process, a group of 15 students from across the University receive their confirmation to join this free once-in-a-life-time experience.
The trip will be designed so participants can see, try, reflect, share and discuss during the week.
The trip will include visits to places such as:
- Global innovative and entrepreneurial companies such as Facebook, Google, Tesla (with, where possible, a strong emphasis on a ‘kiwi’ connection)
- Universities such as Stanford, Berkley, UCD
- Innovation labs/accelerators/co-working spaces such as Mercedes and Auto desk
- Venture capitalists
- Networking opportunities with University of Auckland/Velocity alumni working in the Valley and or presentations on the Silicon Valley’s ecosystem, and how these lessons can be applied to New Zealand.
Timing and commitment
Each participant commits to travelling with the cohort and creating a reflection of their learnings from the trip.