Connecting Tech Industry Hopefuls with Legends, Silicon Valley Bank Introduces The SVB Trek

Company news  |  November 18, 2014

18 University Students Selected from 9 Universities will take a Tour of Silicon Valley and Meet Tech Industry Insiders Roelof Botha, Jason Mendelson, Danielle Morrill and More.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.  –– November 18, 2014  Silicon Valley Bank, a champion of innovative companies around the world, today introduced The SVB Trek a three-day tour of Silicon Valley that will connect 18 select university students with successful tech industry entrepreneurs and investors. The goal of The SVB Trek is to help build the students' professional networks and inspire entrepreneurship among the group. Students from nine universities across the US will make the Trek to Silicon Valley January 6-8, 2015.

"We see The Trek as an investment in the future of the tech industry and consider these students pioneers of innovation," said Ashraf Hebela, Managing Director with Silicon Valley Bank. "We are extremely grateful to our friends and partners who will act as guides to the students and share their advice and experiences. We aim to help move bold ideas forward fast, and since many tech companies get their start at the university level, we thought what better way than to offer bright, ambitious, future entrepreneurs the experience and insights of successful leaders from the tech sector."  

Over a three day journey in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the 18 undergraduate and graduate students will attend a series of events with their Trek Guides, a "who's who" of influential investors and entrepreneurs in the tech community. The Trek Guides, including the Silicon Valley Bank team, will offer insight and advice on getting started in the technology industry, finding a business soul mate, perfecting their pitch, and bouncing back after failure. The students will have an opportunity to visit Stanford's, StartX, the offices of Andreessen Horowitz, BIRST and Mattermark, co-working facility WeWork Golden Gate, and Silicon Valley Bank's offices on Sand Hill Road.

 "You can't manufacture this kind of education in a classroom setting," said Ami Stuart, Tech Events Manager for Cornell University. "The SVB Trek will provide students an opportunity to meet other enterprising students from around the country, develop a rich network of contacts and hear directly from some incredible entrepreneurs and investors. We're thrilled to be a part of The SVB Trek and know it will have a positive impact on our students' university experience and future career."

The nine partnering universities were invited to select two students who best represent the spirit of the innovation from their school. The group is a mix of male and female graduate and undergraduate students majoring in computer science (28%), advanced sciences (22%), humanities (22%) and MBA students (28%).

Student Participants


·         Teja Kondapalli

·         Jake Reisch


·         Shree Bose

·         Michelle Deng


·         Andrew Putch

·         Jia Chen (Bob) Ren


·         Elizabeth Cotter

·         Kevin (Wei) Wang


·         Josh Haimson

·         David Sengeh

Ohio State

·         Kate Fisher

·         Joel Meyer

Texas A&M

·         Sarah Knop

·         Wesley  Vance

UC Berkeley

·         Dan Schoening

·         Zach Zeleznick


·         Juan Abraham

·         Carlos Vadillo

Trek Guides

·         Chris Albinson, General Partner, Founders Circle Capital

·         Mike "JB" John Baptiste, SendtoNews

·         Roelof Botha, General Partner, Sequoia Capital

·         Mike Descheneaux, CFO, Silicon Valley Bank

·         Jon Feiber, General Partner, Mohr Davidow

·         Ashraf Hebela, Managing Director, SVB Capital

·         Bastiaan Janmaat, Co-founder, Datafox

·         Joe Lonsdale, Co-founder, Palantir

·         Jason Mendelson, General Partner, Foundry Group

·         Danielle Morrill, Founder & CEO, Mattermark

·         DJ Patil, Data Scientist, RelateIQ

·         Andy Sparks, Co-Founder & COO, Mattermark

·         Paul Staelin, Chief Customer Officer, Birst

·         Scott Weiss, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

·         Tiffany Apczynski, Zendesk

Profiles of the participating students and the Trek Guides can be found on The SVB Trek web site at .