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Unleashing the 'Frogs' in Silicon Valley

29 April 2015

Every year, HEC Paris Specialized Master and Master in Management students specializing in Entrepreneurship embark on a study trip to the dream destination of any entrepreneur: Silicon Valley. 

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From April 8 to April 14, 95 students visited more than 25 companies and startup incubators including Facebook, Evernote, Google, Lending Club…

The HEC-Entrepreneurs program is designed for Masters students who aim to start up their own businesses after graduation. Students are given as much hands-on experience as possible, as well as opportunities to learn from real, successful business founders. The trip was built around three objectives. First, it helped students discover and understand the origins of innovation and entrepreneurship while inspiring them to pursue their own business projects. Second, it forged ties between HEC Paris and Silicon Valley. Finally, it immersed students in the Valley’s “ecosystem,” through visits, networking and meetings.

"As I learned during this Learning Expedition, Silicon Valley entrepreneurship involves looking at the big picture right from the beginning. The entrepreneurs we met don't just concentrate on issues unique to the United States—or any country, for that matter—but rather focus on global problems. They try to envision the world in 20 or 30 years' time," says Abdelhamid Benyahia, an MS Entrepreneurs student at HEC Paris. "Also, I realized that Silicon Valley really accelerates tech projects, since it's a place with an innovative, disruptive culture. France is up there too, except in terms of funding, which is easier to find in the Valley. Finally, I learned to appreciate the US culture of embracing risk and accepting failure. Investors pay a lot of attention to entrepreneurs who have been through failed ventures, since people learn from mistakes and become more motivated to succeed as a result."

Discover the highlights of HEC Entrepreneurs learning expedition to the Silicon Valley through a dedicated storify.


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