STEM-Trek: An Entrepreneurial Journey

At the StartupHPC Meetup, November 17, 2014, STEM-Trek Founder Elizabeth Leake described how this global, grassroots, nonprofit organization was formed, and its unique business model that involves crowd-sourcing social capital to solicit donated travel points and other services so that scholars from underrepresented groups and regions can attend high-tech conferences. Beneficiaries are encouraged to pay-it-forward, and can do so in a variety of ways. While some have volunteered to help less fortunate people from their home communities, others have supported STEM-Trek in more creative ways.

STEM-Trek’s first beneficiary, Wa Yuan (Northwestern University, Materials Science PhD) believes that the challenge of finding meaningful employment has as much to do with WHO you know, as WHAT you know. She developed a business networking tool called Scitivate that is being used by the SC14 Broader Engagement (BE) program to pair mentors with …

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