Due to ongoing public safety concerns, our 2020 cohort has been postponed until next year. Please reach out to us at startUPinfo@siliconvalleyforum.com for questions or more information.


Silicon Valley Start-UP

Student Entrepreneurship Program

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About Silicon Valley Start-UP

Build a company in just two weeks—the Silicon Valley way! In this intensive startup program, you’ll build a startup from scratch with help from Silicon Valley experts, including investors, VCs, entrepreneurs, company leaders, and more. The program culminates with a pitch night, where you’ll show off your product to a panel of expert judges in front of a live audience.

During this program, you will:

  • Meet and work with like-minded entrepreneurs
  • Build a complete, ready-to-pitch company in just two weeks
  • Learn from mentors and executives from world-renowned companies
  • Visit top startup hubs, speak with founders, and gain knowledge and practical insights
  • Form lasting global connections through our multi-cultural, team-based work environment

Download the latest brochure

How it Works

All you need is an idea! This program is designed to give you a crash-course in Silicon Valley entrepreneurial life, with connections, access, and opportunities you won’t find anywhere else – using your startup plan as a case study so you can put what you’ve learned to work immediately.

Silicon Valley Start-UP is open to university students and beginning entrepreneurs from any country.

2019 Speakers and Mentors

2020 roster announced soon!

Learn more about our speakers
Chris Yeh

Chris Yeh Co-founder of the Global Scaling Academy; Author, Investor, Speaker, Mentor

Chris is the co-author, along with Reid Hoffman, of Blitzscaling, the book that explains how to build world-changing companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and Airbnb in record time. As a writer, investor, and entrepreneur, Chris has had a ringside seat in the world of startups and scaleups since 1995.

Steve Goldberg

Steve Goldberg Operating Partner, Venrock

Operating Partner, Venrock

Leo Bley

Leo Bley Director, PwC

Leo develops PwC businesses, investments and opportunities with the venture ecosystem. He also advises investors, entrepreneurs and enterprises on innovation and disruptive opportunities.

Denyse Cardozo

Denyse Cardozo Executive Director, Silicon Valley Forum

Denyse drives the goals and strategy for Silicon Valley Forum, with continued growth into international markets and innovation. She has coached hundreds of startups through the SVF pitch nights and programs.

Tomasz Kolodziejak

Tomasz Kolodziejak Technology Strategy, Samsung

Tomasz has years of experience in business development, sales and partnerships at an early stage and mid-size startup, as well as B2B sales and partnerships experience with big hotel brands, major airlines, big public/private universities.

Kevin Surace

Kevin Surace CEO, Appvance.ai

Kevin Surace is a technology innovator, speaker and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Appvance, and was Inc. Magazine’s 2009 entrepreneur of the Year. Kevin has been recognized multiple times as an innovator and a technology pioneer.

Michael Torosian

Michael Torosian Partner, Pillsbury Law

Michael guides emerging companies at all stages. He represents private companies, publicly traded companies, VC firms and investment banks in the high tech, renewable energy & life sciences industries.

Jonathan Baer

Jonathan Baer Managing Partner, Stonehearth Ventures

Michelle Messina

Michelle Messina CEO & Founder, Explora International

Rachel Gabato

Rachel Gabato COO, Ripe.io

Pushpa Ithal

Pushpa Ithal Founder & CEO, MarketBeam

Brigette Iarrusso

Brigette Iarrusso Leadership Instructor, UC Berkeley

Scott Aramanini

Scott Aramanini Venture Partner, Startup Advisor (ex-Accenture Ventures; Microsoft; Co-Founder, Avanade; Angel @Bloomlife)

John Stanton

John Stanton General Partner, SVG Ventures

Jody Vandegriff

Jody Vandegriff Entrepreneur, Startup Advisor, Founder of WebDAM

BeiBei Song

BeiBei Song Innovation Coach & Course Facilitator, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Peter Mullen

Peter Mullen Strategic Partnerships, SaaStr & Mentor, Alchemist Accelerator

Gail Christine Gannon

Gail Christine Gannon Managing Director, WaveEdge Capital

Keith Kline

Keith Kline President, The Kline Law Firm

Naeem Zafar

Naeem Zafar CoFounder and CEO, TeleSense

Brett Yokom

Brett Yokom International Business Instructor, UC Berkeley Extension


Check out all the cool stuff we learned in 2019!



  • Decoding Silicon Valley: Silicon Valley’s Startup Ecosystem and the Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Coaching, Communications, and Personal Branding
  • Building a Business Plan
  • How to (NOT) Screw Up Your Startup!
  • Building – and Retaining – a Great Startup Team
  • Market Research and Product Validation
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Business Communications and Cultural Communications
  • AMA With a Company Founder
  • Visits to innovative tech companies
  • Idea to MVP
  • Marketing Strategies



  • Big Data: How it Works – and Why You Need It
  • Business Development and Partnerships
  • Selling Your Product/Service
  • One-on-one Mentorship Sessions
  • Building a Perfect Pitch Deck
  • The Silicon Valley Investor’s Mindset
  • How to Raise Capital in Silicon Valley
  • Design Thinking
  • IP Basics for Startups
  • Negotiating Effectively in Business
  • How to Pitch in Silicon Valley – with live pitch training!
  • Preparation for final pitch presentation—how to pitch onstage to Silicon Valley investors



We’re proud to host SVSUP at San Jose State University – the capital of Silicon Valley!

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Download 2020 Brochure

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Updated versions will be added on a rolling basis

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