Cool things are happening at a faster clip at Wharton San Francisco this year. We moved to a new campus in January. In April we organized the first sustainability and social impact panel out here which one day will beat the Wharton Social Impact conference back East. In summer, we announced for the first-time that a cohort of full-time MBA students from class of 2013 will spend a semester in San Francisco – 55 of them. To add to that momentum, we had a group of class of 2014 full-time MBA students visit the Bay area on a startp trek last weekend.
All of this culminated in a fascinating and inspiring few hours at the first ever Wharton SF Unconference, put together by the innovative and talented full-timers on campus. The goals were simple – bring all like-minds together, put them in a room, have them ask questions about what they want to know and then collect those into sessions where people discuss those questions. We came up with 9 sessions of 45 minutes each. Topics ranged from “how to find a technical co-founder and build a great startup team”, “what are the differences between starting a B2B and B2C startup”, “what are the opportunities in emerging markets”, “what are the trends in online fashion startups”, “what are the big data opportunities in supply chain”, “what are the best opportunities for MBAs in startups” and a couple others. There was a wealth of information presented by many students in these sessions, including an inspiring talk from my classmate Amilcar on building a great startup. Kudos to Vishy, Neha, Elaine, Christine and others from the full-time cohort on putting this together!
Through these semester in SF cohorts, the full-timers get a unique opportunity to experience our great campus out here in SF and also soak in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the valley. Pretty much every full-timer I spoke to at the event wanted to know more about how one could start or join a startup out here and go about finding co-founders. We also had several first-year students from the full-time cohort from Wharton who stayed on after their startup trek to attend this event. And not to be left out, a few of us WEMBA students made it there as well to share our perspectives. We had Amilcar, Vijay, Parry and Sami speak about their experiences with starting companies and raising capital.
Here’s to more of these events and more opportunities to get to know enterprising Wharton students from back East!