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Empowering entrepreneurs to build the future

Adams Apprentices visiting Proteus Digital Health in San Francisco, CA.

Adams Apprentices visiting Proteus Digital Health in San Francisco, CA.

Silicon Valley builds the future. It embodies a sense of possibility for what the future could be.

Visiting the Silicon Valley and San Francisco through UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Adams Apprenticeship was a game-changer. We made valuable connections that many business school students dream of.

We met Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Proteus Digital Health, on our trek. The company creates smart pills that work with a patch to inform patients and their doctors whether they have taken their medication properly.

Compliance is a huge problem in medicine. Proteus’ solution could potentially save hundreds – if not hundreds of thousands – of lives. Thompson predicts that digital health will become the next “Internet of Things” – and expects his company to be a multi-billion dollar company at the forefront.

“Courage is in shorter supply than intellect.”Venture capitalist Peter Thiel

Thompson is intelligent, insightful and pragmatic – but his courage and conviction set him apart. Courage is the primary factor that distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from those who never even begin.

One of the advantages of UNC Kenan-Flagler – and the Adams Apprenticeship, in particular – is that it inspires and empowers you to build your own business within five years of graduating. Our trek to Silicon Valley showed us that we each possess the potential to build the future. UNC Kenan-Flagler gives us the connections and knowledge to do it and bolsters our courage, but it is up to us to execute our visions.

The most powerful moment of our journey in San Francisco was when Thompson ended his talk by advising that employers, family and friends don’t own us or our futures: “Only you own you.”

By Will Jarvis (BA ’16)