It’s no secret the Silicon Valley is the global hub for high-tech innovation and development. It accounts for more than half the venture capital in the United States. But, it’s not just investors moving their money out west. As the Star Tribune’s Adam Belz pointed out Sunday, many Minnesota technology companies are being sold and moving operations to large tech firms in Silicon Valley.

So, how do you keep Twin Cities technology from relocating to California? Send Twin Cities technology entrepreneurs to California.

In January 2015, the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship is taking a group of entrepreneurship students on its inaugural Silicon Valley Immersion trip. Think study abroad, but stateside. As part of the learning experience, students will do more than tour companies like Google. They’ll bring their own technology startup ideas and develop them alongside leading innovators in software design and development.

“By taking students to the heart of innovation in the Silicon Valley, they’re going to learn first-hand what it takes to start a technology company and build it for long-term success,” said Schulze School of Entrepreneurship associate professor Alec Johnson. “In their first St. Thomas entrepreneurship class they are required to bring a business to revenue. Add this knowledge of creating a tech startup in the Silicon Valley to what they already know about starting a business, and it’s going to open a lot of doors to what they can accomplish here in Minnesota.”

The three-week course has students learning from some of the top Twin Cities software development and application entrepreneurs, before travelling to the Silicon Valley for two weeks. During that time, they’ll learn design thinking at Stanford, spend time pitching their companies to investors and meet with other startups, moving their technology ideas to execution, in the center of global entrepreneurship.

For more information about the Silicon Valley Immersion, contact Nicole Matter in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at (651) 962-4185.

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