Every year 20 of Penn’s most entrepreneurial students take a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet with the Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures. Participants gain an inside look at the culture of large tech companies, emergent startups, and prominent venture capital firms — heard directly from their founders and executive leadership. Now in its seventh year, the Tech Trek has met with a diverse group of over 50 individuals, including Sal Khan, Andy Radcliff, Sam Altman, Jack Dorsey, Max Levchin, and Jack Abraham.
Hearing from Jack Abraham.
Meeting the team at Clever.
Sal Khan and Khan Academy.
Meeting with Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja and Penn Alumni.
Over the course of 4 days, participants in the Penn Tech Trek will visit over 20 companies and speak with over 50 prominent members of the technology industry. This trip is not just a series of recruiting presentations at different companies. Rather, the Tech Trek includes private meetings with the founders, chief officers, venture capitalists, and engineers working at the valley’s most exciting companies. While the trip includes many of the most famous companies in tech, it also focuses on emerging startups and Penn Alumni projects.
Meeting with Jeff Jordan at Andreessen Horowitz.
Presentation at EventBrite.
YC Startup School
Sam Altman and Paul Graham.
As a school still rooted in the entrepreneurial and multidisciplinary ideals of Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania has some of the brightest students in the country. The Penn Tech Trek includes a curated sample of these students, admitted via application from the schools of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Wharton. Their interests include the technical, operational, managerial, and cultural aspects of starting, growing, and running a technology focused company. The Penn Tech Trek enables these students to make life-long connections, learn from leaders in tech, and imagine their own future careers in Silicon Valley.
Some of the Trekkers at Startup School.
Hanging out at "Off the Grid".
Walking to Blend Labs in SF.
The girls of Tech Trek 2014.
A large number of students demonstrate interest in the Penn Tech Trek, necessitating an admissions process. The organizers of the Penn Tech Trek are charged with bringing together a group of students diverse in background, year, and study.
Application for the trip begins with a questionare and series of short essays. From there, finalists sit down for a in-person interview with the organizers to learn more about the trip. A final pool of 16 participants are then selected to join the 4 organizers.
Applications for the Penn Tech Trek are currently open:
The Penn Tech Trek is completely student organized. The organizers of the 2017 trek are as follows:
Ece Nur Sahin, a senior in the M&T program, studying Finance, and Electrical Engineering
Julia Wang, a senior in the College, studying literature, computer science, graphic design.
Sam Weintraub, a junior in mechanical engineering with an interest in robotics.