Ignite Entrepreneurship Trek to Silicon Valley

The Ignite Trek provides entrepreneurial students with a chance to meet some of the most successful and up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Students will hear the personal stories of entrepreneurs working to build their companies and learn from the successes (and failures) of the best-and-brightest that Silicon Valley has to offer. This is an intense immersion experience with company visits and entrepreneurial speakers throughout the trek. Previous site visits include Airbnb, Tesla, LendUp, and Benchmark Capital. 

"A first-person perspective into the minds and personalities of the most successful people and companies in Silicon Valley."

"A PhD in entrepreneurship in three days flat!"

"You are not serious about entrepreneurship until you go through Ignite."

Meet successful & up-and-coming entrepreneurs and visit startups, high-tech companies and venture capital firms in Silicon Valley!

The deadline to apply for the Ignite Entrepreneurship Trek is December 10, 2021. The program is open to ALL Rice graduate students in the schools of engineering, natural science, and business (e.g., PhD, Masters, and MBA candidates). Participants will be notified approximately two weeks after applications close. See program details below. 

March 9 - 12, 2022

Ignite Trek 2022 Schedule 

Day Date Schedule
1 Wednesday, March 9 Travel day & opening reception (6:00 p.m.)
2 Thursday, March 10 Field trips to Silicon Valley startups / high-tech firms / VC firms
3 Friday, March 11 Entrepreneurial guest speakers
4 Saturday, March 12 Entrepreneurial guest speakers and closing dinner
Ignite Trek Visit to Tesla

What to know about the Ignite Trek

Eligibility: You may participate and apply for the Ignite trek if you are a Rice Business MBA graduate student, a Rice engineering graduate student (PhD or Masters candidate), or a Rice natural science student (PhD or Masters).

Credit: Students who successfully attend the Ignite Trek will be offered a Certificate of Completion (if desired). The program is no longer being offered as an MBA for-credit course.

Cost: Lodging costs in the Bay area (4 nights, double or triple occupancy), bus transportation to company visits, and most meals during the trip will be paid for by our sponsors. Students are responsible for transportation costs from Houston to San Francisco to the main program site (i.e., taxi/Uber to/from the airport to host venue and airfare), although the Institute for Biosciences and Bioengineering and the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership may provide travel stipends for engineering and natural science graduate students.

Note: Students accepted into the Ignite program are required to attend all trek sessions, events, and activities, starting with the Opening Reception on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. and ending with the Closing Dinner on Saturday, March 12, 2022. You should plan to fly home no earlier than Sunday, March 13, 2022. Lodging will be provided for 4 nights (Wednesday night through Saturday night), and students must stay at the host venue. Students are welcome to extend their stay in the Bay area at their own expense.

If you have any questions, please contact Cheyenna Mitchell at  cmitchell@rice.edu.

Thank you for organizing an incredible Ignite Conference. I found every talk full of inspiration and lessons. Having gone to a few entrepreneurial conferences, this set a new bar for the best talks and the highest energy.


Ignite Trek 2019 Participant

Amir Bolandparvaz