Founded in 2013, the mission of Silicon North Stars is to inspire and educate young Minnesotans to become future leaders in technology. We focus on equipping a select group of high potential, rising ninth graders from economically underserved communities in Minnesota with the inspiration and community they need to pursue careers in technology. We do this through two unique programming tracks.
First, we onboard a new class of Silicon North Stars students each summer for a one-week long tech camp. The students visit tech companies, start-ups, venture capital firms, and hear from inspiring speakers who talk about their work, and their career paths. During the week, each student is paired with a mentor who helps them set short and long-term goals for their future. And at the end of the week, the students go through a design thinking workshop, where they form teams and create their own startups to solve a pressing social issue using technology. They pitch their ideas to members of the tech community at a culminating "Demo Day" event in for the broader tech community in the Twin Cities. Interspersed throughout the camp are a series of team-building activities.
As the students start high school in the fall, we begin the second programming track for Silicon North Stars - meeting regularly with tech companies and startups in the Twin Cities. Every other month, we hold a meetup with students from all classes where they tour local tech companies and re-connect on their goals. The purpose is to build a community of young tech leaders who can continually draw inspiration from mentors and each other throughout their high school experience, preparing them for future careers in technology. This program is designed to be a five year, hands-on experience and then you are part of our alumni community for life. To date we have served over 120 students and are proud to be part of their entrepreneurial journeys.
"This experience was amazing, I learned a lot and have never felt so inspired!"
Class of 2018
The cornerstone of Silicon North Stars is a one-week long tech camp held every summer in California's Silicon Valley. During the week, the students meet with leaders from top tech companies, startups, and venture capital funds. Past visits have included Facebook, YouTube, Google, Andreessen Horowitz, Lyft, Indiegogo, Galvanize SF, Intuit, Stanford University, Singularity University, TaskRabbit, and the Target Innovation Center.
While in Silicon Valley, the students participate in a 1:1 goal-setting exercise. Guided by a technology leader, they develop a series of short and long term goals for the rest of their high school career and beyond. They'll meet regularly to review and work on these goals in the coming years.
Minnesota Meetups and Alumni Community
We host quarterly Minnesota Meetups here in the Twin Cities for all 84 of our alumni students. These events feature talks from MN tech leaders, an opportunity for the students to review the goals they set, and the chance to reconnect with their Silicon North Stars community from across Twin Cities high schools. We have visited and heard from a variety of local tech leaders including Techstars, JAMF, Best Buy, Foundry, Players Health, and more.