Tina Seelig (Stanford Technology Ventures Program) on Stanford + NYC
Tina Seelig, PhD (pictured in red jacket, above, teaching a Stanford course on creativity) is the Executive Director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University’s School of Engineering.
Our team at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) is privileged to play a role in educating the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, preparing them to see the world as a place rich with opportunity and full of potential.
As the entrepreneurship program at Stanford’s School of Engineering, centered in the department of Management Science and Engineering, we see our job as helping students to gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to turn the challenges around them into opportunities, and to build a better world. Whether they launch a startup, join an established company, or choose another path, these skills will be pivotal in helping them progress through their careers and to contribute to society.
At STVP, our philosophy is that it is no longer good enough for engineers and scientists to come out of school with purely technical training. They must have the entrepreneurial skills needed to bring their ideas to life. This is important for them as individuals, for the companies they found or join, and for the nation as a whole. We do this by providing them with the knowledge they need as well as experiences that hone their skills. They graduate with an entrepreneurial mindset, fully understanding that the challenges they face are opportunities, and that as entrepreneurs their role is to do much more than is imaginable with much less than seems possible.
Since the earliest days of Stanford, the university has been building bridges between our research labs, classrooms, and Silicon Valley to create scalable ventures that fuel the local and national economy. An iconic example occurred as early as 1939 when Engineering Dean Fred Terman encouraged students William Hewlett and David Packard to launch a company to commercialize an audio oscillator based upon work that Hewlett had developed as a graduate student in Terman’s lab. Since then, Stanford has fostered the creation of an ever-growing list of technology companies, including Varian, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Yahoo, Rambus and Google. We would look forward to the bringing our knowledge and experience to New York City to help shape and support the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, built upon the unique resources and culture of the community.
Our work at Stanford is attracting recognition and support on a national level. For example, STVP was recently awarded a five-year grant to launch a national center dedicated to unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit in undergraduate engineering students across the country. This National Center for Engineering Pathway to Innovation, or Epicenter, will be connecting the nation’s 350 engineering schools with the goal of igniting interest in entrepreneurship and sharing best practices in entrepreneurship education.
The NSF has also asked Stanford to help leading scientists commercialize new technologies through their new Innovation Corps program. Teams from around the country, including faculty members and PhD students, are participating in an intense, 10-week program designed to help them discover and test scalable business models based upon their discoveries. The first cohort of 21 teams is participating in this program right now.
In all of our efforts, we will build upon our deep experience with online education. For the past ten years we have offered a free collection of materials on entrepreneurship that is both extensive and growing. Our ECorner website has thousands of videos and podcasts of entrepreneurial thought leaders, most of whom are from Silicon Valley. We look forward to expanding this collection with speakers from New York City. Along with other efforts, this will allow us to build strong ties to the New York City community of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and company leaders.
New York City holds a very special place in my heart. My parents both grew up, went to college, and worked in New York City, and I grew up in New Jersey. I spent endless hours in “The City,” taking full advantage of the world-class cultural environment that continues to thrive. To me, New York City is an amazing jewel, poised for entrepreneurial growth. My colleagues and I are extremely enthusiastic about the potential to contribute to Stanford’s efforts to build a New York City campus. We look forward to building a vital bridge between Palo Alto and New York City, between Stanford and Roosevelt Island, and between the present and the future.
- Tina Seelig