How Silicon Valley woos Stanford students

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU got into Stanford University. You beat 22 other candidates vying for each coveted place. For you, competition doesn’t quite stop there: being best in class boosts your prospects. But the real fighting now will be over 7,100 undergraduates and 9,400 graduate students, not between them. Technology giants and sexy startups all want this brainpower. So do venture capital (VC) funds. All go to sometimes absurd lengths to get it.

Accelerator programmes, such as StartX or Alchemist Accelerator, court budding entrepreneurs with burritos, desk space and thousands of dollars in earliest-stage funding. They hope to ferret out the next HP, Cisco, Google, PayPal, Netflix or other tech success story that can trace its roots to Stanford’s campus in sleepy Palo Alto, Silicon Valley’s spiritual epicentre.

To beat others to top talent, some deep-pocketed investors take on teaching appointments. Venture capitalists from Floodgate teach a course in how to evaluate startups. Many wannabe founders attend—and are evaluated in turn. Those who sparkle in final exams, which look a lot like startup pitch days, are invited to meet investors. Many such meetings turn into funding rounds (see Buttonwood). One student recounts how a Silicon Valley luminary who...

via Business Feeds

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