SAN FRANCISCO – On January 26, 2017, the winners of the 500 Startups Co-Curricular, the most extensive Co-Curricular Minerva has done yet, were announced. This only marks the end of the second part of this three part series.
500 Startups, a widely known venture fund and seed accelerator, has partnered with Minerva to challenge students with data analysis and data visualization, helping the business itself and giving students a chance to deeply interact with the company.
Normally, Minerva’s Co-Curriculars last no longer than one day, which has elicited a few complaints from some students saying it was too shallow of an experience. 500 Startups, by contrast is composed of multiple segments spread over multiple days.
The in-depth activity began in November. Several students went to 500 Startups’ headquarters in San Francisco and received an introduction to the company, a presentation from a startup under the watch of the business, and were given the main task for the day. Groups of four students would be given a list of all of the companies under 500 Startups and would begin to collect data on these companies unobtrusively.
After a few hours and only a small part of the list completed by each group, everyone recongregated for the closing. The representative then announced the second stage. Teams would work to finish the data collection and create data visualizations that revealed the strengths and shortcomings of the company. The award for winning teams is access to 500 Startups’ Demo Day, an event in which the 500 Startups’ latest batch pitches to an audience of investors. Additionally, three teams with the best data visualizations are invited to Preview Day: a special day for 500 Startup’s latest batch to present to partners and potential investors.
Because of the large time commitment and need to work over the winter break, many of the participating students decided to not continue with this endeavor. In the end, only eight teams formed to push through to the final leg on December 1st, 2016.
On Friday, January 20th, the eight teams traveled to 500 Startups main headquarters in Mountain View, California. Though there was a mixture of nerves and excitement, each team managed to get through their two-minute presentation in front of startup founders and 500 Startups representatives.
Though only three teams have gotten the honor to attend Preview Day, each team was given its due praise for all their hard work and will be attending this Co-Curricular’s final segment–Demo Day.
The extensive detail, depth, and opportunity of this Co-Curricular has students excited and hopeful for ones to come.