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This couldn’t be missed! How did the February immersion program go?

We’ve all heard about how artificial intelligence (AI) has stopped being a distant future and has become our present. Right now, AI is changing the lives of billions of people all over the world.

I thought about this during my meeting with David Yang, when he talked about how AI controls everything in his home – from heating and lighting to moving walls. Such meetings divide life into “before” and “after”. They make you think that the future is already here.

I visited David Yang’s home as part of the program organized by the San Francisco Innovation Hub, together with the 37th immersion program group in Silicon Valley.
Our next program will take place from April 29 to May 6, and there are still 5 spots available.

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Our program started with an introductory meeting where we got to know the participants. There were more than 40 of us, most of whom were residents of the United States of America. On the first day, we all participated in business games together, which helped us get to know each other better, form groups, set goals, and agree on rules. In the evening, we went to explore the campus of Stanford University in the company of a PhD and the president of the Russian-speaking community at Stanford.

On the second day, we started with an exciting visit to Berkeley University, where we met with a professor who personally knows all the celebrities of Silicon Valley, from Elon Musk to Reid Hoffman and Mark Zuckerberg. Later, we met with immigrant entrepreneurs who founded successful technology companies thanks to their skills and perseverance, and even built self-organization within one of them. That same day, we also met with a professor at Stanford University who is the managing director of a venture fund. It was an unforgettable experience from which the participants gained a lot of useful insights.

The third day of our program turned out to be intense and interesting. We visited Plug and Play, one of the most successful accelerators and incubators in the world that specializes in venture capital. Future unicorns of the world are born here, and during the incubator’s existence, they have already supported more than 1107 projects.

In addition, we met with three startupers who shared their stories of development and experience in attracting investments in the US market. We concluded this productive day with meetings with a venture investment expert and the manager of a venture fund.

The fourth day was an eye-opener for many, as in addition to two meetings with outstanding venture investors, the group tried out the tool for generating new ideas and solutions – design thinking, which is widely used in many Silicon Valley companies. To take a break from the constant flow of information, we also went to the Apple Park Visitor Centre, where participants saw for themselves what the largest and richest in terms of assortment Apple store looks like (as well as what the company’s headquarters look like from the outside).

On the fifth day of our program, we met with two engineers from Silicon Valley companies – Uber and Facebook. We delved into their work and learned more about the corporate culture that has developed in Silicon Valley, as well as the latest tools that these companies use. But the most amazing moment of that day was visiting the home of David Yang, the founder of ABBYY. It is an unusual place where reality and the future merge into one. Everything is controlled by artificial intelligence here, and instead of pets, the house is populated by robot dogs!

On the sixth day of our program, we continued to get acquainted with the culture of leading Silicon Valley companies, thanks to a meeting with a Google employee. We learned how they set ambitious goals for themselves and achieve them. The day ended with a powerful gathering during which the participants shared the results of the program, discussed their personal insights and outcomes obtained during six days in Silicon Valley.

On the last, seventh day of the program, the participants focused on getting to know the culture and people living in the Bay Area and other cities in the United States. In the morning, we went on a city tour to visit the most famous places that make San Francisco unique. And in the evening, we went to the largest Russian-speaking event in Silicon Valley, organized by our team, where everyone could listen to a panel discussion with 11 leading Russian-speaking speakers in Silicon Valley and meet other interesting people. It was a wonderful way to conclude our program, gain additional knowledge, and strengthen ties within our amazing community.

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