This year I was accepted into a new program in Viterbi, called the Viterbi Student Innovative Institute (VSI2). The program was created to encourage entrepreneurship in the Viterbi School of Engineering and get students involved with tech startups. Through the program, I have learned about the logistics involved in the business side of startups and how to analyze new ideas and their feasibility as startup ventures. As part of the program, we chose a project to prototype for the class, which has taught me about the process of developing a new product.

The program has an accompanying lecture series, where speakers come to talk about their startup experiences. Recently, Bradley Horowitz, the current VP of Google’s Social Products, previous cofounder and CTO of Virage, came to speak about his career as an entrepreneur and engineer. His talk gave insights into the fluctuation of success in startups and his approach to making the most effective business decisions. The next speaker will be Mike Abbott, the ex-CTO of Twitter and a current General Partner at Kliener Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Another venture in the program is the new Viterbi Startup Garage. This technology accelerator is a 12-week summer program that gives chosen startups resources, including funding, space, and mentorship, to develop their company.

VSI2’s overall goal is to give Viterbi students the opportunity to become entrepreneurially involved and to start their own companies. It is an excellent opportunity for any Viterbi student interested in tech startups.