The Penn Tech Trek

An annual trip to Silicon Valley where Penn students meet with prominent Venture Capitalists, Founders, and Alumni.

The Experience

Every year 15 of Penn’s most entrepreneurial students take a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet with the Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures. Participants gain an inside look at the culture of large tech companies, emergent startups, and prominent venture capital firms — heard directly from their founders and executive leadership. Now in its eighth year, the Tech Trek has met with a diverse group of over 50 individuals, including Sal Khan, Andy Rachleff, Sam Altman, Jack Dorsey, Max Levchin, Jack Abraham, and Jacqueline Reses.

Hearing from Jack Abraham.

Meeting the team at Clever.

Sal Khan and Khan Academy.

Meeting with Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja and Penn Alumni.

The Speakers

Over the course of 3 days, participants in the Penn Tech Trek will visit over 12 companies and speak with over 40 prominent members of the technology industry. This trip is not just a series of recruiting presentations at different companies. Rather, the Tech Trek includes private meetings with the founders, chief officers, venture capitalists, and engineers working at the valley’s most exciting companies. While the trip includes many of the most famous companies in tech, it also focuses on emerging startups and Penn Alumni projects.

Meeting with Jeff Jordan at Andreessen Horowitz.

Presentation at EventBrite.

YC Startup School

Sam Altman and Paul Graham.

The Students

As a school still rooted in the entrepreneurial and multidisciplinary ideals of Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania has some of the brightest students in the country. The Penn Tech Trek includes a curated sample of these students, admitted via application from the schools of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Wharton. Their interests include the technical, operational, managerial, and cultural aspects of starting, growing, and running a technology focused company. The Penn Tech Trek enables these students to make life-long connections, learn from leaders in tech, and imagine their own future careers in Silicon Valley.

Some of the Trekkers at Startup School.

Hanging out at "Off the Grid".

Walking to Blend Labs in SF.

The girls of Tech Trek 2014.

The Application

A large number of students demonstrate interest in the Penn Tech Trek, necessitating an admissions process. The organizers of the Penn Tech Trek are charged with bringing together a group of students diverse in background, year, and study.

Application for the trip begins with a questionare and series of short essays. From there, finalists sit down for a in-person interview with the organizers to learn more about the trip. A final pool of 12 participants are then selected to join the 3 organizers.

Applications for the Penn Tech Trek are closed:

Apply Here

If you would like to get updates on the trip please like our Facebook Page and register for our info session.

The Organizers

The Penn Tech Trek is completely student organized. The organizers of the 2019 trek are as follows: