Silicon Valley Internship Program (SVIP), a new consortium of start-ups and industry organizations led by Michael Hughes, co-CEO of LoopUp, today announces its initiative to inspire entrepreneurialism in the UK. Its program will offer select, recent computer science and software engineering graduates a year’s experience in Silicon Valley, the quintessential hub for entrepreneurship and start-ups.
SVIP will match each program participant with a sponsoring start-up in Silicon Valley, where they’ll work full-time for one year, earning a $60,000 salary. Each participant will learn the ins and outs of building a company in the tech space by eating, sleeping and living the life as an early employee of a start-up. To further enrich their experience and development, each participant will also receive a mentor from outside their start-up, plus formal training on subjects such as business strategy, fundraising and team building.
To remove the barriers of their one-year move abroad, travel costs to and from the US are paid and SVIP is working with the British Consulate and British American Business Council in San Francisco to arrange working visas, a key barrier to preventing UK graduates from finding internships in the United States. “We welcome this opportunity to further exchange knowledge between the US and UK. This internship gives our students the chance to study with some of the brightest entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and put these new skills to work upon returning to the UK” said Priya Guha, the British Consulate General in San Francisco.
“There is something intrinsically different in the way Brits and Americans approach innovation and entrepreneurship. In Britain, we see too many barriers, and any stumble or fall is seen as a potentially career-ending failure. But in the U.S., wrong turns are more likely to be seen as lessons to eventual success. We envision the SVIP engendering willingness to take the first step and determination to succeed in the UK’s most capable engineering talent at the very beginning of their professional careers.” says Michael Hughes, who created SVIP and is the co-founder of LoopUp, a leading provider of better, everyday conference calls. He made his way from the UK to Silicon Valley and entrepreneurial life after he was awarded a Sainsbury Management Fellowship to pursue an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“The Sainsbury Management Fellowship develops engineers to become leaders in UK industry. Michael Hughes is one of 300 Fellows who have benefited from the generosity of our patron, Lord Sainsbury of Turville. I can’t think of a better way to reciprocate than the SVIP program. A fantastic and creative way to encourage entrepreneurialism in the UK” said David Falzani, President of SMF.
About Silicon Valley Internship Program
The SVIP aims to give new UK-Software Engineering grads the unique experience of working at a hot Silicon Valley start-up through a one-year internship, in the hopes that this experience will bring a little of the Silicon Valley attitude back to the entrepreneurial community in the UK. SVIP is the brainchild of Michael Hughes, who developed this consortium of start-ups and industry organizations in 2013. Participants are matched with a sponsoring start-up, a mentor, and receive formal training on how to launch their own tech company during their one-year stint, which starts in the late summer. Internships are salaried, round trip flights are paid, and by working with the British Consulate and the British American Business Council in San Francisco, J-1 visas are issued. Learn more at facebook.com/svipuk and www.siliconvalleyinternship.com