Field trip teaches students how to ‘grind’

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A Delta student watches a demonstration by Evren Yazici at the 2020 Startup Grind Global Conference, which took place in Silicon Valley from Feb. 11-12. Photo by C.J. Love
A Delta student watches a demonstration by Evren Yazici at the 2020 Startup Grind Global Conference, which took place in Silicon Valley from Feb. 11-12. Photo by C.J. Love

On Feb. 12, about 80 Delta College students attended day two of the 2020 Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley.

The Conference is an interactive experience that allows attendees a slew of opportunities, such as hearing industry professionals give lectures (a la live TED Talks), attend Q&A sessions with independent business owners, visit startup entrepreneur booths, and make connections with other like-minded individuals.

With free muffins and oranges in-hand, Delta attendees met in the Locke parking lot at 5:30 a.m. for the three hour bus trip to Redwood City.

General admission tickets for the multi-day event cost $795, but schools in the Central Valley Mother Lode Sector had tickets purchased for them to give students this opportunity hurdle-free. For more information, visit bit.ly/DeltaGrind.

Delta students registered for spots to attend prior to the event.

“As a student, I probably wouldn’t have had an opportunity otherwise” said Cheravon Greene, a communications major at Delta that attended the event. “It’s amazing that something like this could be done for us.”

Greene had never attended a Startup Grind conference before this one.

“The experience can be overwhelming at times, so many people have a pitch to give,” said Greene, in reference to the many indie-business booths visitors encounter at some point during their day.

“But it’s very educational; there’s a lot of new things to see, and it’s pretty exciting. We were able to attend different events, like one from a tech-director from Amazon. He had a Q&A session, and that was really cool to sit in a crowd and be able to talk to a top-guy from a huge company.”

Authors, CEOs, co-founders, and all sorts of industry leaders held lectures and Q&A sessions in Redwood’s Cinemark and Fox theaters. Visitors were able to listen to business advice based on speakers’ past experiences, or simply learn a lesson in how to handle oneself, be it marketing, connecting, or simply managing their own well-being.

“We also got to walk around, hear a lot of pitches, see a lot of new things that are coming out, and collect lots of swag,” said Greene.

Small businesses ready to show off what they have to offer were on display between scheduled speeches, and some even provided free goodies for those willing to visit.

If attendees aren’t exploring booths or sitting at a speech, there are a couple areas where professionals evaluated visitors’ own elevator pitches, should they have any.

Networking is prioritized. “Make friends, not contacts” is one of the first messages attendees see whenever they open the Startup Grind phone app, which served as both the ticket into the event as well as an interactive hub to assist with scheduling and communication for the day.

Exchanging resumes, cards, and numbers were not exclusive to businesses; students attending the event were not only able to connect with different startup businesses from around the world, but with other students as well.

With all that is offered at the Global Startup Grind, having students from other schools share their interests and knowledge with other students is a major “hidden benefit” from an event like this. That, and maybe the free goodies.