2017 Testimonials

GratisThe team and I were overjoyed to have been part of such an engaging experience. The driving concept during the phase of SVIC was the need to recognize the project as a non-profit. This enabled us to move forward in the realm of social entrepreneurship in the face of a student project and show the potential of the idea through user-driven validation. SVIC helped us think about Gratis in a business person’s perspective. We thought out of the box of an engineer and questions regarding our go to market strategy, business model canvas, empathy maps, etc., were considered through. One of the critical practices we implemented was to include suggestions and inputs from the judges and guests at SVIC. I would recommend future entrepreneurs to always enter their ideas into competitions because you will never know what could have happened unless you try. The deadlines also help you stay on track. 

Raghav Gupta, Computer Science BS

Innovation: Gratis Food, an app that connects hungry, homeless students with people wishing to donate untouched, leftover food to prevent food waste.



I had the opportunity to participate in the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge with my professor this semester.  It was such an amazing experience for me. There were many great ideas and concepts being showcased there. We met a lot of great people and received many great suggestions and support. The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge is a great place to network with others. If you have the opportunity, don't hesitate to enter this event.

Fan Han, Computer Science BS

Innovation: Upright Assist - Provides the ability for paraplegics, wheelchair bound, and elderly to independently stand or sit.

Park Stash

The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC) was an eye-opening experience that ParkStash was honored to be a part of. SVIC gave us the opportunity to talk to judges, students, event-coordinators and other participants, solidifying a very valuable block for us to build the path of our company. Fortified by words, thoughts, and needs of those we want to help, we are now much more capable to take on the parking challenges of the world. We have some advice to help make the day much more fun. Take time to meet your neighbors and wish them luck! At some point, create a mini congo-line to get to know each other's projects and learn more about your own project from a competitor's point-of-view. By the end of the day you will have made great friends despite the competition.

Murray Nguyen, Chemistry BS
Sameer Saran, Computer Engineering MS

Innovation: ParkStash, a service that connects private parking spot owners (driveways, car parks, garages, universities) with drivers looking for a parking spot.

Soraya SiahpoloI participated in SVIC the first semester I entered SJSU, in Fall 2013. I was so excited when my idea was picked to showcase. My idea did not win and I always wanted to try again. This semester is my last semester in SJSU and decided to challenge myself and come stronger this time. I had an app idea for a while and was looking to showcase it and SVIC is the best place to get valuable feedback and recommendations about your idea. I entered this semester and won the Best Educational Innovation. I could not be any more happier. Don't afraid of failures, they are the key to your success!

Soraya Siahpolo, BS Computer Science
Innovation: Tuter, an on-demand tutor service for enrolled students in specific universities


Brace YourselfHave you ever thought of how you could solve an existing problem in this world yet feel uncertain about your idea? Well, Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge gives you the perfect platform to share your ideas with professionals with experience in different fields, who can not only provide you the support that you need but also help you in paving your path to success. It gives you an opportunity to discover more about yourself and make some connections that could help you in the future. It's just about getting out of your comfort zones and putting your ideas forward. I would definitely recommend students to seize the opportunity in hand and participate in SVIC. 

Harshika Chadha, BS, Business Administration, Concentration in Management
Innovation: Brace Yourself, an inconspicuous bracelet with pepper spray, location tracker, user distress sensor and only activates with user’s thumbprint.


Ryan Allen "The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge is an excellent opportunity for  entrepreneurs to showcase their products and receive valuable  feedback,  suggestions, and criticisms from students and professionals  alike. The "elevator pitch" competition gives you experience pitching  your idea in  front of a large audience and highlights areas for improvement. I found  this competition to be extremely rewarding and would  highly recommend any student entrepreneur to compete!”
Ryan Allen - Student, San Jose State University 

Usman Choudhery “The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge is not only a great way for  participants to get their ideas out to the public, but also a great way for  them to practice pitching to investors. Before the SVIC, I didn't know  where to go or who to talk to in order to get my idea off the ground.  However, during the event, I talked to quite a few people who gave me  very valuable insight in how to implement my idea. I also got a few contacts who put me in touch with investors who are very interested in my idea. The SVIC is an extremely helpful event to anyone who has an idea and wants to make that idea into reality.”
Usman Choudhery - Manager, International Auto Center, Inc.  


“I had the amazing opportunity to be a finalist for SVIC in 2014. However I was nervous because I have never participated in a school showcase. It was a memorable experience because I had the opportunity to network with fellow creative and intelligent Spartans! In addition to making new friends, I utilize this experience during job interviews and SVIC developed my leadership skills. I hope others take advantage of what SVIC and SJSU has to offer!”
Lam Nguyen - Student, San Jose State University
HR Student Assistant, Tower Foundation at SJSU
VP of Careers, SHRM at SJSU 


“The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge was an incredible experience for Garden to Table. In addition to winning 2nd place for social innovation, we received a lot of interest and valuable feedback that helped us refine the concept and spurred us onwards. As a result, Garden to Table recently became a non-profit with a land use agreement in place to build the farm and launch our idea into reality!”
Zach Lewis - Executive Director, Garden To Table


"The Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge was one of the best experiences I've had as well as one of my top highlights in my college career! The fact that students have an opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas to the University, public, and high-profile individuals makes you believe that there's really an opportunity to take your idea to the next level to show society! It only takes one great idea to make a difference."
Mo Ibrahim - Solutions Consultant, Zoura


“The event had some really impressive participants and everyone worked really hard - from the students to the judges to the professors and assistants! I was grateful for everyone’s efforts. We all leveraged our best output, ideas and efforts into our entries. We were delighted to see the kind of work being done and caliber of people working alongside of us here at San Jose State University. With the integration of the event with local business, academia and government, I feel we can develop the SVIC into a significant brand for SJSU especially in conjunction with other College of Business innovation initiatives and partnerships that are being developed.”
Christian Jorgensen - Student, San Jose State University