The mission of Silicon North Stars is to inspire and educate young Minnesotans to become future leaders in technology. We focus on equipping a select group of high potential, rising ninth graders from underserved communities in Minnesota with the inspiration and community they need to pursue careers in technology. Our program consists of three main components:
The cornerstone of Silicon North Stars is a one-week long tech camp held every summer in California's Silicon Valley. During the week, the students meet with leaders from top tech companies, startups, and venture capital funds. Past visits have included Facebook, YouTube, Google, Andreessen Horowitz, Lyft, Indiegogo, Galvanize SF, Intuit, Stanford University, Singularity University, TaskRabbit, and the Target Innovation Center. The students get an inside look at what makes these companies tick, and get to hear about the personal journeys of the people who lead them. At the end of the week, the students go through a design thinking workshop, where they form teams and create their own startups to solve a pressing social issue using technology. They pitch their ideas to members of the tech community at a culminating "Demo Day" event in San Francisco. Interspersed throughout the week are a series of team-building activities, including a ropes course, kickball games, and visits to local attractions like the SF Aquarium, Pier 39, and Muir Woods.
While in Silicon Valley, the students participate in a 1:1 goal-setting exercise. Guided by a technology leader, they develop a series of short and long term goals for the rest of their high school career and beyond. They'll meet regularly to review and work on these goals in the coming years.
SILICON NORTH STARS ALUMNI COMMUNITY
All Silicon North Stars Alumni are invited to gather every three months at COCO co-working spaces in the Twin Cities. These meet-ups feature talks from Minnesota technology leaders, an opportunity for the students to review the goals they set, and the chance to reconnect with their Silicon North Stars community from across Twin Cities high schools.