FAQ – Silicon Valley Start-UP

Have questions about the program? See below!


How much does the program cost?

The program fee is $3495 USD (plus processing fees), which is due at time of registration. The fee includes:

  • On-campus housing for the duration of the program
  • Tuition and mentorship fees
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks
  • One weekend excursion
  • Program materials
  • Transportation (Includes airport pickup and dropoff on the first and last day of the program, and travel to companies during program days. All extra and/or personal travel not included.)


What is the goal of the program?

Come with an idea – we’ll do the rest! 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 the program progresses, you’ll refine and ideate your startup idea as a case study so you can see your new knowledge in action immediately. 


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
  • Meet like-minded students and build lasting connections

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


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

With 36 years (and counting!) of experiences in supporting and providing knowledge and resources to startups, Silicon Valley Forum has an unmatched network of connections, as well as years of experience in creating high-quality startup programs. Our programs aren’t just tours and photo ops – they’re unique opportunities to make amazing connections, receive practical and actionable advice, and connect with the Silicon Valley ecosystem like a local entrepreneur. The entire history of our organization was built right here on the Valley floor – we’ve been a hub for thought leaders, innovators, and tech luminaries since the beginning.


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)

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

The program is a blend of seminars and lectures, TED-style talks, and hands-on workshop sessions (so you can immediately implement what you’ve learned into your own project). The schedule also includes visits to 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 2019 speaker and mentors here (2020 to be announced – stay tuned!).


Cancellation and Refund Policy:

If you wish to cancel and receive a full refund (please note: all refunds do NOT include processing fees), you must submit your request in writing at least 45 days prior to the program start date. 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.


A Note About Visas:

For all international students – please note that visa applications can take up to 60 days to process – plan accordingly! Even if your visa application is rejected, the payment schedule above still applies. If your visa is not fully approved by February 29th, 2020, your seat will be released and we will refund your tuition (less processing fees).


Who should apply?

This program is intended for aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world—both current students and recent grads are welcome (and any degree/field of study). 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. 


Any requirements or restrictions?

You must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Fluent in English (classes will be taught in English)
  • Able to travel to the US for two weeks
  • Ready to work!


Can I join the program even if 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.


What is the advantage of applying early?

There are only 25 spots available in the program, and applications will be approved on a rolling basis.. 


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 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.



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