BERKELEY, Calif., BOSTON and MADRID, Nov. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading educators Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at UC Berkeley, Dr. Paris de l'Etraz of the IE University Venture Lab–the largest business school startup accelerator in Europe, and Mike Grandinetti, a serial tech entrepreneur and long standing entrepreneurship educator, currently affiliated with Brown, Harvard, MIT and other institutions as a faculty member, fellow, advisor and mentor, today announced the Global Venture Catalyst (GVC)™ program, a free opportunity connecting undergraduate technical students from the world's top-ranked universities with industry educators, mentors, and employers.
The program, which will be the first to implement an AI matching engine at a global scale, is a technical product design sprint, focused on helping students connect to career opportunities in both new ventures and established companies. Assigned to teams by an AI algorithm developed in UC Berkeley's Data-X Program, students will be paired with team members and mentors with similar interests and complementary skills to work on "innovation projects that matter" across multiple tracks. Participants will gain hands-on experience creating prototypes, pitching new ideas, and getting a feel for a career in technology entrepreneurship while building their portfolios.
GVC will bring together corporate and university sponsors, industry mentors, as well as MBA students and top technical undergraduate students from the world's leading universities who are currently matriculating in fields including engineering, data science, computer science, materials science, bioscience, and environmental science.
The program is available to students free of cost through a generous sponsorship by WOJ International (WOJ). WOJ is founded by award-winning educator Esther "Woj" Wojcicki and socially conscious entrepreneur Amit Hooda, founder and CEO of Secteur 6.
"Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the world's creativity. Without entrepreneurs and scientists, we wouldn't have many of the amazing new technologies that we enjoy today--and these entrepreneurs could not have done it without education," said Wojcicki. "Education is at the foundation of progress. At WOJ, we are pleased to collaborate with GVC and support entrepreneurs."
Sidhu, de l'Etraz, and Grandinetti founded GVC in direct response to the significant challenges currently faced by undergraduate technical students in connecting with professional career opportunities and graduate school programs. All three educators have experience leading large student and corporate innovation events and will oversee the GVC program and serve as lead instructors and advisors to its global community of corporate and university sponsors, students, and mentors.
"We're deploying a very different model for GVC," said Sidhu. "This is not about lectures – it's about a completely hands-on learning experience where students combine their skills to build real technology-based products."
"Open innovation tournaments are an extremely effective way to enable deep experiential learning in an exhilarating, high energy environment. These are often transformative experiences for students as they help them build confidence in their skills, develop deep lasting relationships with their teammates, and open the door to new career opportunities," said Grandinetti.
"Enabling students to realize their entrepreneurial dreams has been amongst the most satisfying aspects of my professional life. Now more than ever, we need to support more students who want to take on society's many great challenges through technical innovation," said de l'Etraz.
GVC will launch on January 9th and continue through the following weekend. For more information, or to apply for the program, please visit www.globalventurecatalyst.org. To inquire about sponsorship or becoming a mentor, please contact Mike Grandinetti at [email protected]
About Global Venture Catalyst
Global Venture Catalyst (GVC) is a socially-oriented initiative and platform that allows technology-focused students, experienced mentors, and corporate innovators to connect and pursue innovation opportunities. GVC is powered by an AI matching engine to optimize team formation and mentor matching at global scale and by the Innovation Engineering framework. Visit https://www.globalventurecatalyst.org/ for more information.
Nicolle Valladares, Guyer Group
SOURCE Global Venture Catalyst