Opening the New Epicenter of California’s Gold Rush
- by Doug Collom
On Jan. 2, 2012, Wharton | San Francisco opened the doors to its new location at Hills Plaza along the Embarcadero. It was a singular step by the Wharton School that reaffirmed its long-term commitment not only to the West Coast but to a global strategy and interconnected programming across Philadelphia, San Francisco, China, India and beyond.
The new location is remarkable. For anyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, the role of technology and innovation can’t be overestimated. Iconic companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Hewlett-Packard, eBay and LinkedIn, to name only a few, are nearby. Just in the last few years, with the advent of early-stage social media, gaming and other e-commerce companies, a second California gold rush has begun. Incubators and accelerators to support founders are sprouting up everywhere, savvy angels have become “super-angels,” and experienced managers and executives are jumping from positions in traditional companies to pursue their dreams.
The new campus for Wharton | San Francisco is at the epicenter of these seismic changes. It’s located in the renowned South of Market district. Sand Hill Road, with the largest enclave of professional venture investors on the planet, is only a 45-minute drive away.
The 200 students who participate in our MBA Program for Executives each year represent the best of the West Coast. They are wicked smart, come from a range of companies, jobs, geographies and backgrounds, and bring with them a profound level of judgment and maturity. Only a program such as the Wharton’s could meet the diverse set of career objectives of these students. And only Wharton | San Francisco with its unique MBA program offers proximity and a vital connection to the resources and domain expertise in entrepreneurship that sets our campus apart from any other.
I recently spoke with the managing director of a major investment banking firm in downtown San Francisco. As we chatted about the current state of Silicon Valley, the director confessed one of his greatest concerns as a financial advisor and underwriter. He said, “I worry most about the 23-year old CEOs who carry such responsibility in guiding these companies. They may be great visionaries, but I worry about whether they have the judgment and the leadership skills to grow their companies and to make the right decisions on a day-to-day basis.”
Wharton | San Francisco is the answer. We’ve got all the tools to support our students and our alumni in the pursuit of their dreams, whether it’s about founding an Internet-based company, taking a position in the executive suite of a major company or becoming a principal in an investment banking firm. We continue to ramp our engagement with companies in the Bay Area and up and down the West Coast. And with our new campus and its facilities, we will continue to increase our presence as a vital part of the West Coast business community.
Editor’s note: Visit the Wharton Flickr photostream for the full collection of images from the new San Francisco campus.