News and events

News from Cass Business School

California dreaming

MBA students fly into Silicon Valley for tech start-up masterclass

MBA students met with founders of some of the world's most dynamic digital start-ups in a study tour of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

More than 40 MBA students discovered what it takes to launch a new venture during a four-day trip to the region which has grown companies such as Facebook and Google.

The tour is one of Cass's six international electives which give students knowledge and the opportunity to explore key topics specific to the region, ranging from marketing in Las Vegas to global outsourcing in India. These electives, plus the compulsory International Consulting Week in Iceland, Chile or Vietnam, test the ability of students to work in a global context.

"Students are telling us they want two things from an MBA - career impact and international exposure," said Dr Sionade Robinson, Associate Dean of Cass's MBA programmes. "Today's leaders need to be able to navigate other business cultures and work seamlessly across borders.

"By spending time in different markets, it helps you to develop global networks, understand cross cultural sensitivities and realise that the situation on the ground is never quite how it seems from London.

"For would-be tech entrepreneurs, there are few better places to learn about starting a business than the Silicon Valley. This was a chance for students to learn how to generate ideas, assemble great teams and start-up new ventures. Bringing this learning back to our own Silicon Roundabout is also important to spark new ideas, innovation and growth among UK start-ups."

The tour exposed students to all stages in the cycle of a business start-up with presentations from entrepreneurs and angel investors to established tech companies and professional services firms. 

Among the 14 companies packed into the schedule were new cloud ventures Salesforce and Oracle Social Cloud, established tech giants Google and Cisco, the Silicon Valley Bank and Stanford's Engineering School.

Daniel Zucci, Cass MBA student, said: "Having the opportunity to meet and interact on a personal level with real players in the start-up ecosystem has given me a complete new set of ideas and perceptions. 

"The industry, entrepreneurs, rounds of financing, the talent are all the "talk of the town". We have learned a great deal about how the whole system works. It has opened my eyes to a new world in business and in life."

Share this article