Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program
Innovation & Entrepreneurship 4-WEEK SUMMER COURSE
Learn How to Launch & Sustain a New VentureApply Now
Duke University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO), offer a four-week, one-course program focused on northern California’s Silicon Valley. The program is designed to give students an intensive course experience in the creation of a new venture, both commercial and social. While intensive in content and expectations, this program is intended to be exploratory in nature and is open to students of all majors.
The one-credit program will be delivered during Summer Term 1 in 2023. Over the course of the program, students learn the resources, skills, and planning required to launch a new product or service. Guest speakers will include founders and leaders from many of the country’s most innovative companies, while co-programming engagements will connect you with employees at startups and established firms headquartered in the Bay Area. These experiences together with lectures, case studies, and simulations will provide an in-depth understanding of how new enterprises are formed, inspiring you as you work with teammates to create and pitch your own venture. The program includes modules on innovation and design thinking, prototyping and product design, competitive strategies, value-based negotiation, venture financing, team dynamics, and ethics in entrepreneurship. You’ll also explore the dynamics that created Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial culture, how other startup hubs are developing around the world, and the legal and regulatory issues currently facing some of Silicon Valley’s most successful ventures.
This program is intended for students of all backgrounds and majors who are interested in exploring their innovator mindset. Students on this program will gain an understanding of what some of the top organizations are doing to foster success and talent within their respective industries. Successful innovations and startups require individuals with different backgrounds and experiences – Al students should consider participating.
PROGRAM FAST FACTS
Location: Redwood City, CA
Term: Summer l
Dates: May 15 - June 10, 2023 (TENTATIVE)
Application Deadline: February 1
Academic Theme(s): Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Credit Type: Duke Credit
Eligibility: There are no prerequisites. Non-Duke students are not eligible to apply to this program.
Duke Affiliation: Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative
Housing: Hotel studio suite with kitchenette
Primary Contact: Kevin Hoch
Site visit to Apple
Site visit to PayPal
In class with Dr. Clayton M. Christensen
Site visit to TESLA
Guest speaker from Zume Pizza
Site visit to Google
In San Francisco
Hiking Windy Hill
Site visit to Google
Guest speaker at Apple
Students attending a guest lecture
All students enroll in the signature program course for one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted.
I&E 271A* / ECON 281A / MMS
Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise
(SS) 1.0 Credit
At its core, entrepreneurship is creation. It is not the marginal improvement of the status quo, but instead bringing an idea into the world that did not previously exist. Ultimately, it is the intersection of conception and execution.
This exploratory course is primarily focused on the conception and early-phase execution issues that are core to the entrepreneurial lifecycle. The skills required to conceive of a new idea and initially move it into reality are fundamentally different than the skills required to grow an existing business into a large-scale, efficient organization. Entrepreneurship is not running a large business on a small-scale, but instead the process of creation. We will be analyzing explicitly the feedback between creation and execution. A cornerstone of this course is experiential learning designed to put you in entrepreneurial situations that will require the use of the tools we will be covering throughout the term.
The course also explores the culture of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship which has resulted in Silicon Valley being a hub for new technology and startups. Consideration will be given to if/how the Silicon Valley culture can be duplicated in other parts of the world, particularly as many Silicon Valley firms expand around the globe, as well as move into a hybrid workplace environment.
Prerequisite: No prior coursework is required and the program is open to all majors. Students should not be deterred from applying if they have not previously taken relevant coursework.
*Relation to I&E Certificate: This course satisfies either the gateway or elective course requirement for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program.
HOUSING & MEALS
Breakfast is included each day at the hotel. Lunch or dinner is included a few times a week when a meal is part of a required activity. Students will need to make their lunch or dinner when a program activity is not occurring. Kitchenettes are provided in each room.
Student accommodations in Silicon Valley will be near major technology companies and office parks, to provide easy access to the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
Students who are not enrolled in the Duke in Silicon Valley program will not be permitted to share housing with enrolled students.
These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.
|Other Costs||Other Costs|
Non-Duke students are not eligible to participate in this program.
- Program-sponsored activities and excursions
- Orientation program
- Internet usage
Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.
The program fee does not include:
- Airport transportation to/from program site
- Local transportation
- On-site accident and health insurance policy
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Visa (if needed)
- Mobile phone
- Independent travel and entertainment
- Items of a personal nature
Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.
Step 1: Upon acceptance to the program, you must submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyExperientialEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.
NOTE: If you withdraw after March 15, you will be charged a cancellation fee for voluntary withdrawal. Fees range from $1,500-2,000.
Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. Consult the Duke Bursar's office billing schedule for payment due dates.
Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.
This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:
Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.
- Arrival: May 15 (TENTATIVE)
- Departure: June 10 (TENTATIVE)
You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above.
You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.
PROGRAM FACULTY & STAFF
Program faculty director(s) can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.
Application Opens: November 1
Final Deadline: February 1
This program will release decisions in two waves: First in Mid-January, and then Mid-February. Applications must be received by the final deadline of February 1 to be considered. Application opens November 1.
Interview: Some applications may require an interview.
Priority: Priority is given to applicants who submit all materials by the deadline and meet prerequisites. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as this is a very popular program.
Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are not eligible to apply to this program.
*Special Note for First Year Applicants: Program acceptance cannot be determined until after Dean’s Checks are completed in January. This should not deter any first-year students from applying!
GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:
Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs. All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.
Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution. Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program. This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO.
Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.
Before applying to this program, please take into consideration the light physical demands required by some of this program’s activities. Activities include walking moderate distances on sometimes hilly, uneven, and/or cobbled terrain, climbing up stairs, using public transportation, and standing during tours and site visits. If you have questions or are concerned about any of these activities, please contact the faculty program director.
Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.
Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:
- Online application
- Duke in Silicon Valley Questionnaire
- Transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
Interview: The program director will contact you to schedule an individual interview.
Every summer, the Duke in Silicon Valley blog is updated with participant bios and student blog posts about the experience. Find out why students say the program is, "challenging, thought-provoking, exhausting, invigorating, incredibly valuable, and everything in between."
"Everyone who I have been able to meet, with many thanks to generous Duke alumni plus so many more, has eagerly welcomed our group of 25 students into their workspaces and openly shared their experiences, mistakes, values, and goals."
Camaren Dayton '21
Mechanical Engineering, Visual Arts, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship
"Since I am going into the finance industry, I came into this program with the desire to learn more about the innovative technological side to finance as well as the strategic funding component of scaling a startup."
Pansy Tseng '20
Economics, Finance, and Visual & Media Studies
"I have come to realize the importance of being a self-starter that constantly creates her own path, practicing reflection frequently to help with knowing your story, and constantly being aware of problems around you and thinking of creative ways to solve them, even if they seem far-fetched."
Ehime Ohue '20
Public Policy Studies, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
"Prof. Azhar put us on the spot and made us think unconventionally – all part of his goal to simulate what it’s like to be a part of a startup. I think that we were all a bit anxious at first, but by the end of the class, we were all sold by his teaching style and excited to draw from his entrepreneurial experience moving forward with the summer."
Bryant Huang ’21
Economics, Computer Science, Innovation & Entrepreneurship