Silicon Valley Innovation Academy

Stanford lies in the heart of technological entrepreneurship that is impacting our lives daily. From the Palo Alto garage that started Hewlett-Packard, the introduction of the electron linear accelerator prototype, the first web server in the U.S. to the invention of Google and Yahoo, Stanford University has been inspiring creative exploration and invention in Silicon Valley, and now around the world. Experience Silicon Valley up close with the Silicon Valley Innovation Academy Explore program.

Your Summer in Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley Innovation Academy (SVIA) Explore program is a unique opportunity for visiting high school and university level students to experience Silicon Valley through panels of entrepreneurs and investors, site visits to dynamic companies, and opportunities to network with Valley professionals. Students will be exposed to the culture of startups, and they will gain valuable knowledge from leading innovators.

The Program

Participants in SVIA Explore will be exposed to top entrepreneurs and companies that are changing the world. In addition to attending High School Summer College and taking Stanford classes, students in SVIA Explore will participate in several exciting events throughout the summer. Students can expect to spend 25 hours throughout the summer dedicated to the program. There is a $600 fee for participating in SVIA Explore, which will be charged to the university tuition bill. SVIA Explore students participate in:

SVIA Welcome Dinner

Students in SVIA will kick off the summer getting to know each other, the program, and the team that will be leading you through the summer chalked full of innovation and problem-solving.

SVIA Sprint

Building a product has never been easier, providing untold opportunities for customer feedback and rapid iteration. In eight hours, led by acclaimed product developers, students will come together to create an On­Demand, Uber­for­X­style startup. They will split into core function teams: product development, marketing, sales, and more, and build the central product of a new company.

Two Exploration of the Valley Panels

Silicon Valley professionals will provide personalized advice and mentorship to teams through panel discussions. Take this opportunity to ask specific questions and learn directly from area innovators while refining your project and pitch.

Industry Lunch

Innovators, product developers, and tech experts will address your questions in a roundtable format for an in-depth exploration of how they help solve problems and innovate. This is your chance to get personalized feedback for your team and to gain valuable knowledge about the tech industry.

Site Visits to Two Startups

Explore Lean Startup modeling, execution, and the unique assets that support innovation in Silicon Valley through site visits to local tech firms. Past site visits have included Atheer, IDEO, and Playground Global.

SVIA Explore Workshop

The Explorer workshop is a chance to get hands-on with some the ideas and activities that make Silicon Valley such an innovative place. Students will gain exposure to the basics of entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on working together to solve important problems. Through the workshop, students will learn about a variety of tools to help build businesses, including Design Thinking, Customer Discovery, and Minimum Viable Products. Come prepared to work hard and have a great time!

SVIA Application

SVIA is an exclusive, limited access, add-on program requiring an additional application for admission and an additional fee.

Application Process

  1. Apply to High School Summer College

  2. Once admitted to High School Summer College, follow directions to confirm your spot in High School Summer College. A part of those directions will instruct you to respond with a “Yes” or “No” in regards to your interest in applying for SVIA. You must select “Yes” to move forward in the SVIA process. Parents/Guardians will also have to sign off on your “Yes” decision to receive the SVIA application.

  3. After you have followed all of the directions to confirm your spot in High School Summer College, you will receive your Stanford ID number.

  4. Once you have received your Stanford ID number, you will receive an email with the SVIA application.

  5. Complete the SVIA application.

    1. Applicants will be asked to answer the following prompts in 500 characters or less:

      1. Why are you interested in entrepreneurship?

      2. What is a problem you want to solve that affects at least 1,000,000 people? (e.g. The health risks of being stuck in traffic for hours each day)

      3. What is your favorite technology company and why?

      4. How will you balance your academics with this 25-hour extracurricular commitment?

    2. Depending on when you complete your SVIA application will determine when your SVIA decision will be released to you. Please note: space in SVIA Explore is very limited. Students in the Residential program should apply early. Considerations for space in the program will be made for Commuting students and students in the Horizon Scholars program.

  6.  If you are admitted to SVIA, you will have 10 calendar days to accept your SVIA offer. If you are waitlisted, we will notify you as the application cycle progresses of your standing in SVIA.
  7.  Once you have accepted your offer to SVIA, you will receive an email confirming your place in SVIA.

Payment and Refund Policy

  • The $600 SVIA fee will be charged to your university tuition bill.

  • If you drop SVIA by June 5th at 11:59pm Pacific Time, you will not have any SVIA charges.

  • If you drop SVIA between June 6th at 12:00am Pacific Time and June 26th at 11:59pm Pacific Time then you will be charged $300 on your tuition bill

  • If you drop SVIA June 27th at 12:00am Pacific Time or later, you will be billed the full $600 program fee.

  • If you drop High School Summer College (and thus also SVIA) at any time you will not be charged any SVIA fees.