Recent graduate Andy Tran (right) discusses his startup with a local business leader.

Recent graduate Andy Tran (right) discusses his startup with a local business leader.

By Pat Lopes Harris
Media Relations Director

Young entrepreneurs feast on exposure and advice. So when a professor invited recent graduate and budding businessman Andy Tran to set up a booth outside a Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network conference, he accepted immediately.

“It was an excellent opportunity to get meaningful feedback from community leaders and business owners,” Tran said. “Also, the conference speakers were highly passionate about the status of the valley and it further inspired us to continue our pursuit in building the restaurant community with Yumsprout.”

Tran and his Yumsprout team took second place at the Silicon Valley Neat Ideas Fair last December. The Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship within the College of Business holds the event annually, with the goal of helping SJSU students generate and highlight new business ideas.

“Yumsprout is an online social project that helps build the local restaurant community through free food tasting campaigns,” Tran explained. “Our mission is to raise awareness for local restaurants and to cross promote important social causes with food events and campaigns.”

More than 1,100 corporate and community leaders attended the Joint Venture conference, which featured “the latest economic data, thought leaders’ powerful ideas, provocative rhetoric and substantive views on the state of our region’s economic health and challenges,” organizers said.

For Tran and other Neat Ideas Fair participants, an invite to the event was an opportunity they would have scored nowhere else. SJSU was the only university with student booths at the conference.

Tran also feels quite lucky to have connected with Professor Anuradha Basu, director of the Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Professor Basu has been especially helpful with my entrepreneurial endeavors,” Tran said. “I’m really lucky to have had her as a professor.”#