My experience in San Francisco — Daniella

Acorn Aspirations
4 min readNov 21, 2018

My experience in San Francisco — Daniella.

My team, SKai, went to San Francisco to pitch our MVP to investors and mentor other #TeensInAI at the #GirlsInAI Hackathon.

Day 1

After enduring an 11 hour flight from London, we had finally arrived in San Francisco. It was a sunny and bright when we left the airport, so much so that I could barely see the new country we had just landed in. We took an Uber to our Airbnb hosted by a man called Peter.

When we arrived at the Airbnb I was surprised to find out that majority of the rooms were connected and that there were only 5 rooms to house the 7 of us. The problem was soon sorted and I found myself with a new room and bed mate.

As we had arrived near the end of the afternoon, it was too late to do anything productive, as jetlag started to set in rather quickly. We unpacked all of our things and also prepared for the next day.

Day 2

Our second day in San Francisco started at 11, where we visited Mastercard and Brighterion. We showed Brighterion our pitch and received some feedback to our MVP. It was very interesting to hear what the very skilled Brighterion workers thought of our idea and how we could continue it. After that we got cool designer Brighterion hoodies. Even Though I could only get the discontinued version, I thought that It was of high quality. After our pitch we had lunch with very respectable people at a very fancy restaurant. For my lunch I chose the restaurant’s signature burger with fries. It was really good and greasy, very american style. The man I was seated besides completely inhaled his burger in less than 3 minutes whilst I was struggling with my own for up to 20 minutes. I feel that we had visited the pier on that day a while after we finished lunch, however I don’t quite remember as the meal was so heavy that I was half asleep for the rest of the day.

I am pretty sure we walked from pier 1 to 29, I think that that is the highest number, all I know is that we were walking for quite some time. I really enjoyed walking along the pier, but I am quite fond of the smell of fish.

Day 3

Our third day was the first day of the Girls in AI hackathon. The girls that came in were very excited and brought many ideas to the table. We had sessions lead on Python and also ML to give the girls some ideas as to how they can incorporate it into their AI programs. I also lead a talk on ethics in AI where I talked about bias. My talk was also supported by a woman who has a background in AI ethics so she helped me to answer the more difficult questions from the audience. The day continued and the girls were allowed to start forming their product. I helped a younger group to start forming a most coherent client base and to centralise their problem. This to ensure that their solution is focused and is possible to complete in the 2 day hackathon.

Day 4

The second day of the girls in AI hackathon was much more intense than the first. Girls now were required to start building and forming their pitch. At the end of the working day, we watched all the pitches and the judges picked a winner. All groups had the opportunity to continue with their product If they really wanted to. Our day ended with another trip to the pier, there we went to a seafood restaurant. The food was fresh and not fishy at all, even though there were fish everywhere.

It was our last day in San Francisco and our agenda was free, so we decided to go to the beach. It was sandy and wet — much to my surprise.

We did an interview on the beach and even had some time to frolic as well. Although I am not one for sand, the sun was really nice so I had fun. We returned back to our Airbnb after the trip to the beach and did a final check of our luggage. We went to the airport and got on our flight back to London. It was shorter than the trip there and the food was also better.

I really enjoyed this trip to San Francisco as I got to act as a mentor in an event that I would usually be the mentee. I also got the chance to lead a session which improved my communication and presentation skills. Overall the trip was very interesting and included many learnable aspects.

Originally published at Acorn Aspirations.



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