McGuire Trek to San Francisco and Silicon Valley

April 3, 2019


Over the weekend, 29 students from the McGuire New Venture Development Program traveled to the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas. During the five-day trip, they got an inside look into several different companies by hearing from executives, entrepreneurs, and alumni. 

The trip kicked off on Wednesday evening in Palo Alto with a special Baycats mixer. Students mixed and mingled with University of Arizona alumni who live in the Bay Area over drinks and hors d'oeuvres! The first stop on Thursday was at Luminar, where they heard from the Director of Finance, Michael Beer, '03 BSBA (Finance and Entrepreneurship). Luminar Technologies, Inc. is producing advanced sensor technologies for the autonomous vehicle industry with the vision to make autonomous vehicles safe and ubiquitous. 


In addition to a tour of the Googleplex, Google's main headquarters in Mountain View, California, the group heard from a panel of executives at a Churchill Club mixer. The next morning was spent at ImpactHub, where students heard from panelists including:

  • Matt Van Horn ’06 BSBA Marketing and Entrepreneurship, co-founder of Zimride (now Lyft) and June Co-founder and CEO
  • Justin Meyer Miller '10 BSBA, co-founder and President, Pillow
  • Amelia Klawon '15 MBA, Principal, Social Impact Practice, Moves the Needle
  • Robyn Tosick '00 BSBA Marketing and Entrepreneurship, co-founder, Okiino
  • Baeu Caillouette, co-founder, Hook Fish Co
  • Alicia Levine, Field Marketing Manager, Sunski

Following the panels, students visited Slack, American cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services, where they heard from Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Managing Partner of Accel, Andrew Braccia '98 BSBA (Marketing). Braccia was one of the initial investors in Slack. They finished off the day with a visit to Reed Smith, LLP and heard from lawyers who work closely with the evolving technology business community in the San Francisco area.

The rest of the trip was spent site-seeing and enjoying San Francisco!