What's Model Rocketry Got to Do with Tech Startups in Silicon Valley?

By: John F.C. Cheong

Slide Deck + Map (Revised: April 14, 2016, adapted from a talk presented at: MDeC, Palo Alto, CA, on November 4, 2015)

Summary: The process of middle school students preparing to compete in a national rocket contest is quite similar, in many ways, to the process of designing business models and testing them via the lean startup method; as illustrated by a number of anecdotal examples presented in this talk.

Speaker Bio:


John F.C. Cheong is a model rocket aficionado, most recently pulling together a team of middle school students from Woodland School to compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest student rocket contest. John is also an angel investor and tech entrepreneur for the past 20 years in Silicon Valley; with professional experiences spanning GPS car navigation to financial technologies. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan and started his career as a Computer Scientist at UC Berkeley. John writes the blog series: Trading Wall Street from Silicon Valley”. He can be reached at: johnc@spacemachine.net.