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Accel Innovation Scholars

Preparing Stanford Engineering PhD students to be entrepreneurial leaders with the knowledge, skills and mindset to bring breakthrough ideas to the world.

The AIS application period is now closed for 2014-15.

Overview

The Accel Innovation Scholars (AIS) is a yearlong program for 12 outstanding Stanford engineering PhD students, focusing on technology commercialization, opportunity evaluation and entrepreneurial leadership.

The program runs September through June, and includes core entrepreneurial content, case studies, guest speakers, shadowing opportunities, workshops, team projects and field trips where scholars get exposure to startup firms and industry leaders. Scholars are assigned faculty coaches and venture capital, corporate and AIS alumni mentors who provide different perspectives and access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem.


Year at a Glance

Summer Quarter | Silicon Valley Ecosystem + Team Building »

The scholars become familiar with each other’s research and are introduced to the terminology and processes of technology startups.

Fall Quarter | Silicon Valley Entrepreneurial Challenges, Part 1 »

The scholars participate in living case studies at different companies, led by a member of each firm's leadership team. Topics include marketing, strategy, finance, organizational behavior and intellectual property.

Winter Quarter | Silicon Valley Entrepreneurial Challenges, Part 2 »

Scholars work in teams with company coaches at local startups to deliver case studies at the firm, building upon what they learned in the fall. The coaches help the scholars to understand specific startup challenges using real-world examples.

Spring Quarter | Entrepreneurial Leadership »

The scholars deepen their leadership skills through interactive discussions with authors and thought leaders. In parallel, the scholars craft a Personal Happiness Design — their AIS PhD — capturing their values and the way they plan to lead teams and organizations in the future.

Current Scholars

Subhan Ali

Subhan Ali

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Bioengineering

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Thomas DiRaimondo

Thomas DiRaimondo

Chemical Engineering

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Andre Filgueiras de Araujo

Andre Filgueiras de Araujo

Electrical Engineering

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Theresa Lynn Johnson

Theresa Lynn Johnson

Aeronautics and Astronautics

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Melina Mathur

Melina Mathur

Bioengineering

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Victor Miller II

Victor Miller II

Mechanical Engineering

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Jeff Mounzer

Jeff Mounzer

Electrical Engineering

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Anshuman Sahoo

Anshuman Sahoo

Management Science and Engineering

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Laura Sarah Sasportas

Laura Sarah Sasportas

Bioengineering

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Andrew Scheuermann

Andrew Scheuermann

Materials Science and Engineering

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Bo Wang

Bo Wang

Electrical Engineering

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Teaching Team


Tom Byers

Tina Seelig

Jeffrey Schox

Kate Rosenbluth

Eligibility

The Accel Innovation Scholars (AIS) Program is designed for current PhD students in the School of Engineering who have completed their qualifying examinations, are in good standing in their programs, possess strong leadership skills, and are interested in entrepreneurship.

Students will attend classroom sessions, workshops, retreats, and field trips during all four academic terms. The program's schedule should be considered when applying and scheduling vacations to avoid unnecessary absences. Only a minimal number of absences are acceptable.

Scholars are required to attend the intensive summer session at Stanford, September 8 - 12, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. During the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters, the scholars will meet for a two-hour session each week.


Application Process

You must fulfill both steps below to complete the application process. The application deadline is May 1, 2014.

Step 1: Complete Online Application Form
Once you have completed this form, your name is automatically added to the applicant list.

Step 2: Submit Supporting Documents
Please submit hard-copy versions of 1) a one-page resume, and 2) a statement of interest (800 words maximum) that describes why you want to participate in the program. Include your name on each page of the supporting documents and do not use staples to attach the documents together.

Deliver supporting documents to Nikkie Salgado at the STVP office, no later than 5:00 pm on May 1, 2014. STVP is located in the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, Suite 003 at 475 Via Ortega, Stanford, California.

Selection Process
In mid-May, a group of students will be selected from the initial applicant pool for personal interviews and final acceptance decisions will be made.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact Anaïs Saint-Jude.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Stanford alumni participate in the program?
A: No, AIS is open only to current Stanford Engineering PhD students who have completed their qualifying examination.

Q: Is the program only open to School of Engineering PhD students?
A: Yes, AIS is only open to current School of Engineering PhD students who have completed their qualifying examination.

Q: Do I have to be available for the entire duration of the program (September through June)?
A: Yes, participation for the entirety of the program is required.

Q: To participate in AIS, does my current PhD research topic need to be applicable to commercialization?
A: No, your research focus does not need to have obvious commercial applications.

Acknowledgements

STVP offers sincere appreciation to Accel Partners for supporting this program. Special thanks goes to Ping Li, Jim Swartz, and Jim Breyer at Accel Partners.