ACE 10 kicks off in San Francisco, the City by the Bay, one of the world’s most iconic locations, well known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, and Alcatraz.  San Francisco, both a City and a County, is home to 884,000 people (as of 2015) and a diverse population where traditional minorities comprise the majority.

Founded in 1776 by colonists from Spain, San Francisco has a colorful history marked by a gold rush, an earthquake, a fire, and a few hippies in the 1960’s.  It maintains a vibrant culture and economy, ranked by Forbes as the Coolest City in America in October 2017.


ACE 10 participants will get a firsthand and behind the scenes look one of the most prosperous and successful innovation ecosystems in the world.  With a focus on Biotechnology and Information Technology, San Francisco and Silicon Valley are home to many of the world’s best-known companies including Google, Apple, Genentech, LinkedIn, and Uber. Participants will get a taste of what makes this ecosystem so strong, how it was cultivated, and maintained.

Why not visit one of the world’s best incubators? Beginning with QB3/MBCBiolabs at the University of California, San Francisco in Mission Bay, participants will visit the birthplace of biotech, where innovators have been nurtured and moved on to start Genentech, Chiron (now Novartis), and other industry giants. The University sustains a bold spirit of entrepreneurship that enables their researchers and clinicians to pursue new possibilities for delivering health and advancing biopharmaceutical medicine.

Participants will then travel to the heart of Silicon Valley to visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center.  Since 1939, Ames has led NASA in conducting world-class research and development in aeronautics, exploration technology and science aligned with the center’s core capabilities. Participants will have a tour of the facility and learn about research related to the global impacts of changing weather systems and sustainable communities through supercomputing, robotics, and other capabilities as well as plans for the manned mission to Mars.

At Ames, participants will interact with top executives of some of the world’s best-known incubators such as YCombinator, Social Capital, and Plug-N-Play. They will also have the opportunity to learn from some vibrant public-private partnerships with organizations including Intrinsyx, Singularity, Google, and Carnegie Mellon.  In addition to Ames, the group will then get an opportunity to see the Googleplex, global headquarters of Google, a campus encompassing offices, green space & recreation areas, which is located a short drive from NASA Ames Research Center.