The Company visit at Google New York has been an awesome experience for the whole delegation as it was tremendously interactive. When we arrived we first of all had the chance to have a good breakfast offered by Google. We then continued with the presentation of Erik Troberg about Google Sprints or in other words the short but intense process of designing a certain solution for a given problem. After the presentation we started with our workshop exactly about that, the Google Sprint.

Throughout the workshop the delegation was given the task to create an app in order to overcome a problem given in a case distributed at the beginning of the workshop. In the end each of the groups who created such an app presented it and Erik gave a short feedback.

Before the Company visit at Google came to an end, Erik took us on a tour in the Google building of New York. All in all it has been terrific at Google, especially, because we had a very interactive workshop and experienced how it somehow has to be to work for Google.


Marc Schär: „For me, it was one of the highlights of the journey because it was not just a company visit. We also had the chance to get coached in a google design sprint by Erik Troberg, where I encountered how challenging it is to design something with just a few information about the real problem.“

Partner Event Autexis IT AG & W. Thommen AG

Yesterday evening we had the great pleasure to welcome our partners Autexis IT AG and W. Thommen AG at the FHNW in Olten. This event was organized to provide our platinum and gold partners with our experiences from the On-Site Seminar 2017. But this event was also scheduled to show our high appreciation to the generous support and great partnership we could experience during that whole year.

The two partners had the chance to invite their employees and clients to this event. After welcoming everyone we started with the presentation of the two firms, held by Thomas Neuhaus (CEO Autexis IT AG) and Marc Thommen (Chairman of the board of directors of the W. Thommen AG). Then we introduced everyone what connectUS is in general. After that we came to the main part, the presentation of the firsthand experiences from six of our delegates. We talked about topics such as relationship between Switzerland and the U.S., startups/trends and IT/Internet of Things (IoT). Following this we had the chance to further discuss and answer questions during the apero.

The whole evening was a huge success and a great chance to wrap up the amazing time we spent together with the Autexis IT AG and the W. Thommen AG. We want to thank you again for the great collaboration and all your commitment. Without you we could not have spent such an amazing On-Site Seminar!

Final wrap-up

It’s sad to say, but connectUS 2017 is already over. With the Closing Event on May 8, it officially came to an end. But we had a wonderful year with lots of interesting and amazing moments.


Everything started in summer 2016 with the planning. The first official event then was the Kick-Off Meeting for the Delegation at the end of December 2016. There, we got to know each other for the first time personally and learned more about the upcoming Preparatory and On-Site Seminar.


In February, the Preparatory Seminar took place. We had the pleasure to welcome different high-ranked people from various fields and companies. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to get an insight into the Google Offices in Zurich and the Swiss Embassy in Bern.


Then, everybody was really excited and looking forward to April 6. We finally headed off to the USA for our On-Site Seminar! Our first stop was San Francisco. With DocuSign, Swissnex, Swisscom, Microsoft and Xamarin we had absolutely fabulous visits there. Boston was our second city of our On-Site Seminar. We had a speech from the CEO of Swissnex, an MIT tour, a tour and speech by the CIC and the chance to network in the Venture Café as well as a speech from Bettina Hein, the CEO of Pixability. Moreover, we had the chance to visit the Cambridge Science Festival in Boston. Last but not least, we went to New York. The program was packed with insightful visits such as Google, Alex Goldberg – a venture capitalist, MoMA, Swiss Consulate, Brooklyn Grange and Livestream.


No doubt, we had a wonderful time. This was for sure a once in a lifetime experience. Now, everthing finished with the successful Closing Event.


Our last words are dedicated to all those people that enabled us to have that unforgettable experience such as our supervisor, accompanying lectures, delegates, speakers and of course, a big thank you to our partners!


There is one more thing we want to share with you: Lean back, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy our On-Site video 2017!

Closing Event Invitation

You want to be part of connectUS or another International Student Project in 2018?
You think about applying for the project or PR team 2018?
Or you just want to know everything about this years edition of the student projects?

There is one opportunity to get answer to all these questions during one evening: COME TO OUR CLOSING EVENT 2017

See you there!

Wrap up San Francisco

The Bay Area – The place where innovation comes from.

No matter what company we visited in San Francisco or the Silicon Valley, we always had the impression to have arrived in the future. Either a company’s product, business model, process or employees seem to strive for innovation. We were lucky enough to be given the chance to get firsthand insights into various companies. Furthermore, we also learnt a lot about the Silicon Valley ecosystems, as well as its engine – the Stanford University.

The first day of visits and kickoff of our on-site seminar started with the visit of DocuSign. Their basic service is a cloud-based platform to read and sign contracts online wherever you might be in the world. Of course, they are constantly thinking about new features and therefore it is no surprise that DocuSign recently introduced a new service that also includes payment. The mindset of constant product and service improvement is something we discovered in all our visits. Right after DocuSign we headed to Swissnex San Francisco. After a general introduction into Swissnex we were able to learn how they support Swiss startups that want to succeed in the U.S. Since the Bay Area is the heart of new technologies and innovative thinking this part of Swissnex is really attractive and a lot of startups take advantage of it. In general, there is a huge number of startups in that area, what also leads to even more untouched ideas. The last visit of that day was at the Microsoft office located in San Francisco downtown. It was fascinating to see how many Microsoft products each one of us uses on a daily basis without even realizing. This requires a great ability of evaluating, which technologies have a chance in the future.

After a sunny weekend and some sightseeing, we travelled to the roots of innovation – the Silicon Valley. Once we arrived there everyone thought that we took the wrong highway exit, because it looked like a totally normal living district. After the visit at the Swisscom Outpost and their introduction into the Valley, we found out that pretty much everyone who visits SV has a similar first impression as we did. Furthermore, we learned a lot about the development of the whole Silicon Valley and its “founder”. Nowadays this place is an own eco-system that is the engine of new technologies and innovation in general. This is also why companies like Swisscom decide to open an outpost over there. In the afternoon we had the unique chance to visit Microsoft again, but this time at their office in the Valley (Mountain View). Learning more about artificial intelligence (AI) and experiencing the “HoloLens” is something none of us will ever forget. It was unique to get the opportunity to explore one of these futuristic technologies.

On Tuesday, we had our last visit in San Francisco. The company Xamarin, that was newly acquired by Microsoft, hosted us at their office in the city center. Hearing something about their history and reasons to sell themselves to Microsoft was definitely an added value to our stay in San Francisco. Even more fascinating and special was the Q&A with the founder and CEO of Xamarin.
To learn firsthand what it needs to successfully lead a company and which skills are required to be a good entrepreneur, was an absolutely enriching and unforgettable experience.

Interested to read more about our visits? Here our daily blog entries:
On-Site 2017

Our next stop is Boston, where we will further expand our minds and explore more companies where we will get an impression about the difference between the west and the east coast.

The last words are dedicated to all these people that enabled us to make that unforgettable experience. All of them did that next to their regular tasks and we highly appreciate their great efforts. Thank you!

Video Preparatory Seminar 2017

We present the official video to our Preparatory Seminar 2017:

Made by Julien Weil and Fabienne Galli

Fifth day of the preparatory seminar 2017

Last day of our absolutely interesting preparatory seminar 2017. The day was spent together with the other three projects – insightChina, focusIndia and explore ASEAN.


Globalization – Prospects, transformation and challenges? – Jean-Pierre Lehmann

Jean-Pierre Lehmann (D.Phil, Oxon) is Emeritus Professor at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, where he was appointed to the Chair of International Political Economy in 1997. Prior to that he held positions in several European and Asian institutions. He is Founder of the Evian Group (1995), an international coalition of corporate, government and opinion leaders, united by a common vision of enhancing global prosperity for the benefit of all by fostering an open, inclusive, sustainable and equitable global market economy in a rules-based multilateral framework. He is on the board of several institutions.


He started his presentation by telling us what exactly globalization is. Globalization is the integration of markets through cross-border movement of goods, capital, information, technology and labor. It is based on comparative advantages, driven by enterprise strategies and through technologies. One famous key event in 1989 triggered the “21st Century” – it is the fall of the Berlin Wall. From then, the world got from a divided into an integrated world.


Furthermore, he spoke about the five major revolutions for the 21st Century. These are ICT revolution, the Chinese economic revolution, the global market revolution, the demographic revolution as well as the climate revolution. It is the fact that Asia will drive the global economy in the 21st Century with the massive increase in the middle-income class, massive urbanization and mammoth development of regional and global infrastructure.


Last but not least, the key 21st Century challenges were presented by Jean-Pierre Lehmann. First, our common planet with the climate change, biodiversity or environment is a key challenge. Second, our common humanity, such as tolerance and solidarity or poverty and inequality will influence the globalization. Third and last, our common rule-book like business rules or the governance will have a great impact.


The whole team and delegation wants to thank Jean-Pierre Lehmann for coming to the FHNW and this very informative talk.


Panel talk about current issues of the globalization – Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Dr. Rudolph Strahm, Dr. Jan Atteslander, Dr. Kristyna Ters

The last speech of the preparatory seminar was a panel talk with four absolutely well-known guests. Jean-Pierre Lehmann who was already introduced. Dr. Rudolph Strahm as a former member of the Swiss National Council and price controller. Dr. Jan Atteslander as a member of the management board and head of foreign trade by economiesuisse. Finally, Dr. Kristyna Ters as a lecturer at the FHNW and research adviser to the Czech National Bank.

We heard a lot about the globalization and its current issues. It was really interesting to hear different aspects and opinions of the speakers. Before closing this panel talk, the audience got the chance to ask questions.

We appreciated to have all of these speakers here in Olten and enjoyed it. Thank you very much Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Dr. Rudolph Strahm, Dr. Jan Atteslander and Dr. Kristyna Ters.

Career fair

In the afternoon, we had the chance to meet some interesting companies at the career fair. We could talk to them about possible jobs after our studies, do a CV-check or take photos for our applications.

The preparatory seminar was finally closed by a joint apéro where we could learn each other better. This was the perfect end of an exciting week and we are all very curious about our coming on-site seminar.




The preparatory seminar 2017 is over and everyone involved is very happy how it all went. Everything went as planed. The project and the pr team wants to thank every speaker for their time and effort, without them the preparatory seminar wouldn’t have been such a huge success. Special thanks to:

Silver Partners 2016/17


We are pleased to present you our silver partners 2016/17:



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World leader in discovering, developing and manufacturing pharmaceutical products.