UST entrepreneurship students had an “off day” in Silicon Valley. With no scheduled site visits, students spent time “unpacking” what they learned in their first four days in California, and applying it to their class projects.

Yesterday was an eventful day of company visits at Pivotal Labs and Hands Up. We were able to further develop our project ideas in San Francisco. This included looking deep into key problems that could be faced in the creation of our products and seeking out experiments and potential solutions. Together these two companies gave great insight to what we should be doing next for our products and making sure that there is meaning behind the process.

So I sit here in the middle of our living room surrounded by walls covered in sticky notes. Today the process of breaking down our empathy interviews hit a new level and we were able to dive deep into the root problems that need to be solved. Together we helped each other’s teams come up with solutions for what direction to take next. It was very exciting for each of the teams to have that “ah-ha” moment and be ready to move forward, but getting there wasn’t easy by any means.

This past week has been packed full with company visits that have changed the way we think about a given process or situation. In the business world we find that relationships are key and even the simplest introductions can lead to major breakthroughs. As our empathy interviews come to an end, we are now able to focus more on our ideas and get into the process of ideation (brainstorming).

I look forward to what next week will bring. As for right now we have three days to work on our products (and of course have fun in between). Today not only involved unpacking our interviews, but involved a variety of events between the 10 of us students. Today’s agenda included visiting the Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Garden, a game of basketball in the park and a walk down China Town. The weekend will consist of great sightseeing and laughs and I look forward to seeing how our projects will progress in these next couple of days.

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About The Author

Clark Gregor has more than a decade of business marketing, communication and public relations experience, primarily in higher education, with shorter stints in corporate public relations and the federal government. At the University of St. Thomas he manages communications at the Opus College of Business and edits the university blog for graduate business programs, Opus Magnum along with other marketing efforts.

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