Hello, my name is Maria

I am a graduate student at Nicholas School of the Environment, concentrating in entrepreneurship and marketing. I got my undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Then, my curiosity led me down a path of various interdisciplinary skills, among which are sales and account management, multi-media communication, and managing a student-run environmental magazine. My future interests are geared toward startups, marketing, environmental education, and art and science collaboration.

In addition to working in a startup in NYC, I plan to:

read more about building successful startups (currently reading The Lean Startup and The 4-hour Workweek),
take an online course (Entrepreneur Magazine recommends a few),
and continue to develop my startup idea (I am interested in developing a fun way to share environmental educational information via an app)

Looking forward to a summer of learning,


Red, Green, Refactor

Hi guys, I’m Keng. I like tech and making things, so naturally I chose CS. This summer, I’m in NYC working for SquadUp. The title of the post is a common refrain in test-driven development which is something I picked up as grapple with Ruby on Rails. I would like to think that it is one way to approach life, try — and if you fail — try again until you get it right, then keep the part that works.

At this point, Apple’s acquisition of Beats is old news. Early rumors of Apple’s plan to acquire the headphone-maker and music streaming service struck me as odd. Not that Apple does not make acquisitions — as Tim Cook notes, Apple made 27 acquisitions in the past fiscal year — but the nature of its purchases tend to be low-profile and small. More often than not, Apple’s intent was for acquiring specific talent and/or technology that fits in with their greater plans.

But like “Red, Green, Refactor”, perhaps Beats is a way for Apple to right its music sales ship. The iPod + iTunes broke up the album into dollar tracks that transformed the industry in 2001, but now Apple seems to be the incumbent and services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are nipping at its heels. There is a growing sense that purchasing individual songs has given way to an all-you-can-eat buffet that streaming providers offer. Perhaps Beats can provide Apple an instant leg up in the music sphere that it sorely needs? Time will tell.

Introduction – David Winegar

Hi everyone,

I’m a senior studying Econ and Computer Science, and this past week I started work at a startup called Endless Mobile in San Francisco. It’s been a crazy first few days – I flew in on Monday afternoon and started work on Tuesday, so I’m still trying to get my bearings with the area. I’m currently living in Berkeley, and it’s my first time living on the west coast, so I’m excited to explore. If anyone wants to meet up and grab a drink, let me know!

Endless Mobile is an early stage startup that focuses on bringing computers to the developing world. I am really excited to be working on software for them, and I already had a great first week. My goals for the summer are to network and meet new people, learn more about technical management and software architecture, and learn more about startup culture in the Bay Area. 



Looks like everyone is doing interesting and unique things this summer. I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in person and hearing more about your work!

My name is Emily Pinnes and I’m a rising senior studying Psychology with minors in Economics and French. I’m really excited to be part of SIP this year and to be in the Bay Area for the first time.

I will be a Management Consulting Intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers out of the San Francisco office. Interns are typically placed on projects in the Bay Area and work at the client site. My project has not yet been determined, so stay tuned!

I’m also interested in entrepreneurship and getting a feel for what life is like in Silicon Valley, so am looking forward to connecting to entrepreneurs at PwC and SIP.

Thank you!

Emily Pinnes

Introduction – Jay Wang


I’ve been reading through some of the blog posts already and it looks like everyone is off to doing impressive and interesting things. My name is Jay Wang – I’m a Junior at Duke majoring in Computer Science.

This summer I’m working at Drawbridge, working on their algorithm/machine learning team. We work in the mobile ad space, specifically dealing with cross-device ad retargeting. If you’re interested in data mining/ML, you should definitely check out the white paper – http://bit.ly/1oPHbLF.

I’m looking forward to this program and meeting those of you in the Bay Area this summer. I’m living in San Jose, so if any of you are in the area, would love to grab coffee/lunch and chat.


Post # 1

Howdy everyone and congratulations on making it to the Duke SIP 2014! I am Ahsaan, currently pursiung Master of Engineering Management and will be working as Content Fellow at Venture Hive, Miami this summer. My undergraduate degree was Electrical engineering with a major in telecommunication systems and I have worked for three years in telecommunication industry in technical planning and RF analyst roles.

Although I have been closely related to entrepreneurship activities including taking online courses, being in startup community discussions, participating in venture contests, this would be my first time working full-time for a startup and I look forward to learning this entirely new dimension of the workplace and how it is different or similar to corporate industry that I have been working in. Venture Hive was closely related in launching the first US-based Microsoft innovation center and I am excited to see what it has to offer to young entrepreneurs in execution of their ventures.

First Impressions

Hello everybody!

If you’re reading this post, then chances are you have read or will read the other posts by some phenomenal people working on incredible projects this summer. Congratulations to everyone on their successes so far! Because I have signed a Non-disclosure agreement, I am not allowed to expose certain confidential information, but I will still try to talk about as much as I can about myself.

My name is Richard Liu and I have just finished my freshman year as an ECE and Econ double major. After a really tough first-year at Duke, I am back in my home state of New Jersey working for a startup in the medical devices field. This summer, we will be engaged in research and testing different types of medical devices to treat Alzheimer’s disease. We are pioneering the new field of virtual-rehabilitation. For this month, my job was to create a web interface that would allow clinicians to log in and graphically view their patients’ progress in their therapies. I decided to create the interface in PHP because of its integration with SQL databases. As someone who had zero experience in computer programming (unless you count MATLAB and Arduino), it definitely took me a while to learn and I still struggle with the intricacies, but I have improved on this side and added PHP to my small-but-growing repertoire. After all, that’s the main reason I’m here – to learn and to experience.

After two weeks here, I have several first impressions of this internship:

  1. Working at a small company, you are expected to know how to do everything. Although we have a specialist mechanical engineer to design the devices and a specialist software designer to create the software, everyone in the company is required to have at least a rudimentary understanding of software design, hardware design, databases as well as how to work with Alzheimer’s patients for when we start our clinical trials.
  2. Communication is key. This phrase is practically a cliché by now, but is still underrated. Quick effective communication is imperative for a small company, especially since each person has multiple things to work on. For instance, if any one of us discovers a bug with the software in testing, we immediately tell our software developer and it gets fixed right away.

That’s about all the insight I have to share right now. As always, my goal is to keep learning new things and expanding my skillset and I’m glad I got this internship so I have an opportunity to keep pushing my limits. My goals for this summer are mainly web development and as my project for my internship nears completion, I am juggling some ideas for side projects. So my first impressions of working at a startup…totally awesome! However, the best is yet to come.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Richard Liu

Class of 2017