This winter, SCET hosted the Software Maestro (SOMA) program for the first time in collaboration with Silicon Valley Reboot Program and the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP). Students participating in the two-week innovation program were from top Korean universities, selected from a highly competitive pool based on their past performance and presentations in prior competitions.

Rick Rasmussen, the managing director of Concordia Ventures and director of startup programs for SCET, organized the event hoping to expose the Korean student participants to the mindset of being an entrepreneur and go through the entire entrepreneurial journey from ideation, validation, and commercialization to presentation of their work in front of a jury of professional investors. The program featured multiple industry professionals from UC Berkeley, startups in the Silicon Valley, consulting firms and more as lecturers and mentors.

Taehee Kang from Hanyang University (pictured on the right) marked that:

“The program dived deep into materials and successfully covered all the necessary steps to launching a startup in a short period of time.”

Another participant, Yoonseong Kim from Joongang University, also commented:

“As an engineering student, it was especially helpful to get advice regarding financial and business aspects from various professionals, which is a precious experience that I normally do not get a chance”.

The program successfully marked the closure with the final presentations of three teams — Dr.Pet, Dropit, and Woof — all of which solving a problem in the modern society in a unique way. Students pitched their ideas in front of the VCs from the Bay, and received professional feedback on their hard work at the intensive two-week program.