The Stanford Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) hosted its annual Stanford Summit from April 4 to April 10. Thirty-five international delegates selected from a larger pool of 300 applicants and hailing from all over the Asian-Pacific attended the entrepreneurship conference. Countries represented included Australia, China, India, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
“Last summer, we went through an extreme marketing push to reach as many students as possible at top Asian universities,” said event organizer Calvin Ling ’16. “We looked to see what students demonstrate a real passion for entrepreneurship.”
The delegates stayed the week with current Stanford students in their rooms.
“[Staying with students] was a great way for Stanford students to really interact with and get closer to internationals and promote an exchange of ideas,” Ling said.
Ling highlighted the interaction of different cultures as a key aspect of the summit.
“We had really interesting conversations hearing experiences from the delegates because they come from countries all over and have a wide range of backgrounds,” Ling said. “It was interesting to see the differences between their experiences and the experiences at Stanford.”
Ling added that Stanford offers a lot of resources for its students to accomplish their goals but that many universities in the Pacific don’t necessarily offer the time to explore those passions while at school.
The delegates participated in a variety of workshops, ranging from topics such as design thinking to team building, in addition to hearing speeches from successful entrepreneurs. Over the course of the week, Dr. Richard Dasher, director of the US-Asia Technology Management Center at Stanford, delivered a keynote address, Aditya Agarwal, the vice president of DropBox, held a fireside chat, Justin Kan of Justin.tv held a moderated talk and Gideon Yu, the co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, spoke about his experience at Facebook, Sequoia Capital and Youtube.
Divya Saini ’18 organized a women leader’s panel featuring female entrepreneurs who shared their experiences about being a female in the work place.
“I really wanted a women empowerment evening to the summit,” Saini said. “A lot of the girls come from places without a lot of female role models and I thought it would be great to have that.”
In order to immerse the delegates in Silicon Valley culture, the organizers, including Calvin Ling ’16, arranged opportunities for the delegates to interact with their new surroundings. Delegates got the opportunity to participate in a campus scavenger hunt, play capture the flag, sit in on a CS106A class, go to the computer history museum and tour the Google offices.
At the culmination of the event, delegates delivered a pitch for an entrepreneurial idea and received feedback from judges, who included Evan Tana, the co-founder of Sparks; David Lee, General Partner and co-founder at SV Angel; and Brian Chang, Technology Investor at Warburg Pincus.
“It was interesting that many of the ideas were contextualized into the Asia Pacific region,” Ling said. “Addressing needs specific to their countries was a unique aspect of the pitches.”
Contact Pallavi Krishnarao at pallavik ‘at’ stanford.edu.