First Silicon Valley Summit Gives Young Entrepreneurs Tools for Social Good

September 7, 2013

In late August, MPAC’s Young Leaders Program crossed another milestone when it held its first-ever Young Leaders Silicon Valley Summit in San Francisco to teach young American Muslims how to leverage technology and innovation for social good.

In four days, 14 delegates from eight different states had the priceless opportunity to meet with more than a dozen prominent tech and social entrepreneurs. The delegates were challenged to take part in an action-packed hackathon, where they broke into teams and created projects to address challenges facing the American Muslim community, and compete in a pitching competition before a panel of prominent judges and community members.

In meetings at Google, LinkedIn, the Institute of Design at Stanford and Plug and Play Tech Center, the students and young professionals gained insight about successful startups, effective pitching, human-centered design thinking and leveraging innovation for social good. They also had the opportunity to learn from successful social entrepreneurs such as Ahmad Ashkar, founder of the Hult Prize, and Dian Alyan, Founder of GiveLight Foundation, who shared inspiring and challenging ideas for how to maximize their impact.

Delegate Komal Magsi, a Ph.D. student at Columbia University and Founder of GlobalAltruist, said that attending the summit was one of the best decisions she has made.

“With most events organized by Muslims, I tend to be disappointed at the output. From the second I walked into the first session at the MPAC Silicon Valley Summit, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, organizers, mentors and overall program quality. The next three days would shape into the most engaging and inspiring days of my life.

I don't know what I could say to help you understand that this summit is completely life altering. Perhaps I should tell you about the incredible mentors you will have a chance to interact with. Their personal stories shed light on the importance of discipline and truly believing in your dreams. Or perhaps I should try and explain how the hackathon will transform some of the best ideas you have for change into action.

This summit isn't just about meeting other incredible individuals truly committed to social impact; it's about learning how to believe in yourself and implementing your ideas. MPAC connects young Muslims American leaders to the resources they need to make a difference. The future is already here; we are the leaders of today!”

The Silicon Valley Summit is a one-of-a-kind program geared toward young people who want to combine their passions for business, technology and civic engagement. It is designed to appeal to not only those who want to enter the industry but also to those who are already in it and want to take their career to the next level.

“The Silicon Valley represents the apex of innovation and forward-thinking, making it the perfect location for our newest Summit,” said Hasnain Syed, MPAC’s Creative Director and head of the Silicon Valley Summit program team. “What makes this event different is applying the best principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to attack problems we face in the American Muslim community.”

Each summer since 2007, MPAC has brought some of nation’s top college students together for an opportunity to rediscover themselves as the leaders of a better future.

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