I can wager you didn’t think a trip to sunny California was a stop along the way on your university journey, but it is just one example of what an AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship could do for you.
Horizon scholar, Sam Coggins from the University of Sydney, was among 15 Australian students chosen to attend the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship International Hacker Exchange Start-up Bootcamp in Silicon Valley, California. The 13-day program took place in December 2017, immersing the young entrepreneurs in the innovative culture of Silicon Valley.
The intensive workshop covered networking in the region, lean start-up principles, product management, market research, recruitment, branding and public relations, growth hacking, pitching, venture capital investing and angel investing.
“We were encouraged to pursue personal interests through public ‘meet ups’ around San Francisco. I went to an IndieBio panel discussion about applications of blockchain technology for life sciences. I learnt about blockchain and the potential role it can play in streamlining and strengthening food supply chains. I met a lot of interesting people including an entrepreneur commercialising a technology to make bees more effective pollinators,” said Sam.
Sam also was lucky enough to score a private tour of company headquarters including Google, Gigster, Wizeline, Thunkable, Eventbrite and Weebly, plus the esteemed Stanford University, a highlight of his trip.
The program encouraged students to apply a new way of thinking and tackling problems. “Agricultural scientists are primarily focused on creating new knowledge while Silicon Valley are primarily focused on applying new knowledge,” said Sam. The students were exposed to principles of the Lean Start-Up that recognises high-risk elements of a business model, and tests the assumptions as if they were a hypothesis. “Learning this has enabled me to think about problems and potential career paths in a different light.”