Before taking diverging paths for the summer, the Stanford InSITE program held a final meeting to go through a few sample projects that InSITE fellows had been working on this past year.
The first group presented a comprehensive consulting project that they did with Scanadu, a medical devices company founded in 2011 attempting to disrupt the healthcare space. Our students collectively used their MBA and engineering backgrounds to examine various aspects for the company, ranging from business questions like monetization and partnership models to design questions display dashboard design to effectively convey data. In addition to a comprehensive analysis of the industry, our students were also proactive in surveying potential customers for Scanadu and consciously structuring their project around the survey responses. (Aside: did you know that almost 20% of those surveyed in the Valley use a wearable?)
We had another group who chose to focus on many companies through the resources of 500startups, a seed fund and accelerator invested mostly in consumer and internet startups. Using proprietary data from 500startups, the team did an in depth data analysis of portfolio companies and developed several key insights based on past trends. This experience was also exceptional when compared to the projects with Scanadu and Prophecy Sciences (to be discussed), as the students were able to share with everyone their 10,000 ft view while learning about the specific industry trends associated with the company specific projects.
Our final group presented a project with work they did with Prophecy Sciences, a San Francisco based startup aimed to discover the cognitive factors that predict performance. Impactful use cases for the startup’s product include assessing team dynamics and composition and finding the right career for college/graduate students. Again, this team got their hands dirty through conversations with potential future users, including administration at Stanford’s undergraduate and graduate programs. They shared several notable findings from their experiences, including initial findings suggesting that the gamification component of the startup’s product was perhaps the least prioritized for its users. Because Prophecy Sciences’ product is data driven, a key focus for this team was also user acquisition.
Through our projects, the InSITE fellows not only learned from their hands on experiences working with the Silicon Valley startup scene but also from each other on our endeavors. While some plan to continue on with additional topics for exploration with their companies, others are graduating and still others are looking forward to new adventure ahead!
– Written by Rebecca Yu, Stanford InSITE Fellow