Engaged Learning

Executive Education Immersion Programs: Alumni Successes

by Andrea Ellickson

We encourage you to send us your successes as an alum. Experiences in Silicon Valley Immersion Programs have led to incredible new ventures, connections, innovations, and partnerships.

SVI Alumni Spotlight: Pedro Goncalves

SVI 2013
Country: Portugal
Industry: International Sales

“The energy and mindset of the program allowed me to bond with my colleagues and learn from each other in such an open way without preconceptions.”

I participated in the Silicon Valley Immersion Program in Spring 2013. It was my first time in San Francisco, and everything was new to me. It wasn’t surprising that the immersion program felt different, but it would take me almost six months to fully understand everything I’d learned about Silicon Valley, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The energy and mindset of the program allowed me to bond with my colleagues and learn from each other in such an open way without preconceptions. We presented our ideas and companies using all our skills and capabilities.

A few days after returning to Portugal, I got a phone call. It was a colleague I met in the SVI Program. He remembered me, my presentations and my personality, and that phone call was an invitation to join his company as a partner.

One year later, we are now partners of a multinational company called Vertequip with operations in 3 continents. Learn more at: vertequip.com

Vertequip logo


SVI Alumni Successes:

Xu Chen (Geoffrey)

Xu Chen

SVI 2013
Country: China
Industry: Mobile Internet Media

“After returning to China, I founded a product based on mobile internet. It’s named ZANSHANG, a Chinese word meaning ‘appreciate’ and ‘reward.’”


Catalina Escobar

Nodo Ká logo

SVI 2009 & 2010
Country: Colombia
Industry: Social Business

“All the knowledge I gained during the program helped me develop a new venture called Nodo Ká, an online, cloud-based platform, created to meet the administrative, internal, and external management needs of non-profits, foundations, and social organizations.”


Prihan A. Farrag

Prihan Farrag

SVI Alumna
Country: United Arab Emirates
Industry: Marketing

“After my experience in Silicon Valley, I took the initiative of proposing a new way of breaking the current routine in my work (Marketing Operations), giving it more flexibility in line with today’s dynamically changing markets.”


Pedro Manuel Guillem Gloria

Ethervoice logo

SVI 2010
Country: Colombia
Industry: Communications

“Our company Ethervoice was proudly selected as one of ten winners of the Global Acceleration Program. Through understanding the mechanics of Silicon Valley and the knowledge given to us by the university, our company has grown from 90k to 500k annual sales and remains on track.”



Diogo Magalhães Martins

try lisbon

SVI 2010
Country: Portugal
Industry: Hospitality

“After experiencing the USF Silicon Valley Immersion Program and the entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley, I realized what I wanted to do as an entrepreneur. I returned to Portugal and launched my new venture called Try Lisbon.”


Ricardo Retana

Ricardo Rentana

SVI 2012
Country: Costa Rica
Industry: Healthcare

“Over the last twelve years, I’ve worked with new health industry start-ups in Latin America. My vision is create a new private health model that is more inclusive and accessible for all people.”


Hernando Rivas

Rivas Capital

SVI 2011
Country: Colombia
Industry: Venture Capital

“This program helped me better understand aspects about innovation and dynamic global entrepreneurs. I run a company (Rivascapital) which provides services in connecting entrepreneurs and angel investors.”