Silicon Valley Study Tour 2017

This year’s Silicon Valley tour was once again a great success. Find out all about this amazing experience in the students‘ own words.

The study tour’s broad variety of visits to renowned universities, cutting edge tech start-ups, world’s largest company accelerators, tech giants and world’s top venture capitalists, provided the appropriate mix to get a comprehensive and holistic picture of the Silicon Valley eco-system.
As a researcher, it was impressive to find out about the synergies between Universities (Stanford above all) and private entities. These create opportunities for all participants in the eco-system – starting from students, who can concretise their ideas into startups. These, in turn, can be mentored by corporate experts (possibly in accelerators), who benefit from innovative ideas. Finally, investors financially support businesses from which, if successful, they get rewarded. This cycle dates back to the origins of the high-technology region, where a professor who encouraged his students to start up their own companies in 1938.

The two statements that got stuck in my mind after this experience are “sky is the limit” and “failing is nothing but a lesson learned”.

Emanuele Laurenzi, Silicon Valley Study Tour Coordinator

MSc in Computer Science and MSc in Business Information Systems, PhD Candidate in Information Systems and Scientific Researcher at the FHNW and FHSG.






From my point of view, I can highly recommend the Silicon Valley Tour both to students that would like to realise a business idea in the near future as well as to those that are just curious about Silicon Valley.

Ps.: Did you know it is much more likely to get invested into from venture capitalists if at least one founder of your start-up is 30 years or older?

Thomas Felder

MSc student in Business Information Systems



Fast forward to today, these two weeks are most definitely going to be “the icing” on my master’s degree. The trip has definitely enriched my global outlook, emphasised on the value of networking/sharing and has made me believe in the quote “Impossible is nothing”.

Pragati Siddhanti

MSc student in Business Information Systems

Co-founder – Be For Beauty




I think the best lesson I’ve learned or grasped from the trip is „do not accept the problems as it is rather work on solving them“ like how Uber came into existence or how hp, adobe and google started from a small garage. Since I have come back I see things from an entrepreneur perspective.

Mona Upreti

MSc student in Business Information Systems





Hesitant to join, I asked advice from a friend, who had taken part in the first Silicon Valley study tour. She replied: “If you get a chance to participate, go for it!” So I went ahead and registered.

Globally established powerhouses introduced us to their individual approach on how to foster talent and continuously reinvigorate their business with innovation. From Swiss companies, we heard what drove them to plant a dependence in the Valley. With a Stanford professor, we discussed the difference in mindset between Silicon Valley and Europe.
But not everyone had flowers in their hair: At night, the number of homeless people in the streets of San Francisco evidenced that sharing in the Valley is not necessarily synonymous with caring.

Joel Cabral

MSc student in Business Information Systems





I have been considering other options to go to the Valley. However, after comparing them, I came to the conclusion, that our tour is really quite a unique offer and opportunity from all the perspectives (price, companies, leisure activities), therefore without hesitations I applied!

It has definitely been a lifetime experience for me, because it has caused changes in my perception, the way I view things due to the new knowledge I absorbed has given me new insights and ideas for my career. I loved it!

I will always be grateful to FHNW, MSc BIS and particularly Prof. Dr. Knut Hinkelmann, Prof. Dr. Holger Wache and Emanuele Laurenzi for this chance.

Marya Imbach

Dual degree MSc student in Business Information Systems



Emanuele Laurenzi

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