FAQ – Silicon Valley Start-UP

Have questions about the program? See below!


What is the goal of the program?

Silicon Valley Start-UP aims to teach you innovative entrepreneurship methods, and connect you to experienced mentors and company leaders. Through a combination of seminars, hands-on workshops, and company visits, this program will be a guided adventure through Silicon Valley startup life as you work together with your team to create a profitable business—in just 2 weeks.


What can I expect from the program?

By the end of the program, you will

  • Refine, validate, and actualize a startup idea
  • Experience an accelerated crash-course in startup life
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of Silicon Valley
  • Network with and learn from Silicon Valley experts
  • Challenge yourself and grow your business knowledge
  • Pitch to Silicon Valley investors and/or VCs

You’ll also finish the program as a certified UP Alumni—a potential highlight for resumes, college applications, and personal profiles.


How is Silicon Valley Start-UP different from other student entrepreneurship programs?

With over 35 years of experiences in supporting and providing knowledge and resources to startups, Silicon Valley Forum have built an expertise in executing high-quality educational startup programs with emphasis on making connections and in getting actionable advice. With our history being in the heart of Silicon Valley, we’ve been able to build a large network of startups, corporates, venture capitalists, accelerators, and universities.


Will I get academic credit for going through the program?

The program will not provide any academic credit, but we will issue a certificate of completion at the end of the program.


What is the format of the learning experience?

Each day we’ll focus on a specific area of startup development, such as (but not limited to)

  • Business Plan
  • Idea & Product Validation
  • Product & Technology
  • Marketing & Growth
  • Sales & Partnerships
  • Fundraising
  • Personal Branding & Leadership

For each topic, we’ll hold a half-day seminar session in the morning, followed by a hands-on workshop session in the afternoon where you’ll implement what you’ve learned into your own project. A few of the days will also include visits to storied Silicon Valley tech companies and/or startup hubs, where you’ll hear advice on innovation, strategy, business development, and founder success stories.


Who will be teaching or speaking during the program?

Silicon Valley Forum has an extensive network of founders, investors and senior executives, and we’re proud to share their expertise with UP program participants. Find the list of speaker and mentors here (check back for updates!): https://siliconvalleyforum.com/silicon-valley-start-up-speakers-and-mentors/.


How are cofounder teams formed?

After a sixty-second pitch session with program participants, the Top Ten startup ideas will be selected by a group vote. Then we’ll organize all participants into teams based on your skills. We will try to match team members based on complementary skills as much as we can. Once you’ve got your group of 4 or 5, you’ll get started on building something amazing.


What is the cost of the program?

If selected, the cost of the program is $4850 USD, which is due by February 18th in order to secure your spot on the program.


What’s included?

The program fee covers:

  • Tuition fees and program materials
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks
  • Group dinner event
  • One weekend excursion
  • Personalized mentorship fees
  • Accommodations (please note: all accommodations will be double occupancy)
  • Transportation (to site visits only -airport and extra/personal travel not included)


Cancellation fee:

If you wish to cancel and receive a full refund, you must submit your request in writing at least 45 days prior to the program start date of June 3, 2019. If you submit your request 15 to 45 days before the program start date, you will receive a refund equal to 50% of the full program fee. If you submit your request within 14 days of the program start date, you are not eligible to receive a refund. Cancellation requests are valid only upon Silicon Valley Forum confirming receipt of your request.


Who should apply?

This program is intended for aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world—no matter if you’re currently a student or just graduated or which degree you’re working on. Whether you already have the seeds of a startup idea or you’d simply like the experience of being part of a company in the US, this program will be an exciting challenge that will help you grow as a modern entrepreneur.


Can I apply although I’m not currently enrolled as a student? 

Absolutely! The purpose of the program is for you to learn how to build a startup and learn from the startup ecosystem in the heart of Silicon Valley. If this is your goal as well then you should apply to the program.


When can I apply?

Applications for the 2019 program will be open until January 31st, 2019.


How do I apply?

Fill out the form here: https://form.jotform.com/82637391445160


What is the advantage of applying early?

We review applications as they come in – don’t wait until the deadline to apply! We have a limited number of spots available.


Do I need to have a business idea I plan to pursue prior to applying?

You don’t have to have a startup idea to apply for Silicon Valley Start-UP, but we strongly encourage it (you never know – today’s short pitch could become the next big thing!).


How does the final pitch night work? Will I be able to raise capital?

The Pitch Night is for you and your team to practice pitching your idea on stage, and practice answering questions and receiving feedback from real Silicon Valley investors (a crucial experience when building a startup). The company you build during the program, while complete and ready to scale, will be too early-stage for a real investment—the value is in the experience itself.


What is the advantage of applying early?

We’ll be accepting applicants on a rolling basis (as they come in) and seats are limited, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances. However, if you apply and don’t heard from us right away, don’t be discouragedthe final notice of approved applications will go out by February 20th. Keep an eye on your inbox!


What are the selection criteria?

Your startup idea, your experience and your skills are the three things our selection committee will be looking at. No one idea, experience or skill will determine if you’ll be selected, but rather the composition of the entire selection group, as we are looking for diversity of experience and skills.


How will I find out if I am admitted?

Watch for an email from us with “Congratulations!” in the subject line (note: after you apply, make sure to add startUPinfo@siliconvalleyforum.com to your contacts so that your letter doesn’t get lost in a spam spiral!). If you’ve been selected for the program, you will receive notice by January 31st.


Are scholarships/ financial support available?

At this time, we unfortunately do not have scholarships or financial aid available.


I have questions that aren’t listed here—how can I get in touch with you?

Feel free to email us at startUPinfo@siliconvalleyforum.com.

Xi-Er DangFAQ Silicon Valley Start-UP