The alumni discussed with experts about entrepreneurship and innovation, visited companies and institutes, for example Linked-In, Larry Leifer's Stanford d.school and Stanford University. They met alumni working for companies in Silicon Valley. One of the highlights was an interview with alumni Cyriac Röding in the German consulate general in San Francisco.
The seminar aimed at refreshing the relations of KIT to his alumni in the US and connecting und the former students with each other. Furthermore, the seminar intended to install contact to local universities and companies that might lead to long-term cooperation. In addition, the seminar was the starting point for exploring ideas concerting the future appearance of KIT in Silicon Valley and further cooperation with alumni.
Esther Legant and Pascale Kohler from the International Affairs Busines Unit (INTL) had been in charge of planning and organizing the seminar.
Interview with Orestis Terzidis and Volker Saile
According to Professor Volker Saile, until 2015 Head of KIT’s Division V, Physics and Mathematics, and among the experts involved in the seminar discussions, the alumni know well that the KIT prepared them for their careers, and they thus wish for a “deeper relationship to KIT.”
Another expert at the seminar, Orestis Terzidis, Professor for Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at KIT, believes that “an enhanced networking with the creative environment in Silicon Valley” definitely makes sense. Closer links could, among others, introduce KIT students and researchers to the special way of thinking and working in Silicon Valley i.e., to “the very pleasant openness of first listening to an idea and then seeing what will happen with it.”