Final Thoughts on my Semester in San Francisco

Picnic with my SSF program friends in the Palace of Fine Arts

The Semester in San Francisco Program

For the past four months, I participated in the SSF program where Northeastern students can get a taste of entrepreneurship in the heart of San Francisco. The courses provided offer in-depth learnings of the startup process and help bring your ideas into fruition.

I took the three following classes, Entrepreneurial Startups, Hi-Tech Marketing, and Entrepreneurial Finance. Furthermore, for my fourth “class,” I decided to work at an internship with a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm called Sure Ventures.

Course Learnings

My Entrepreneurial Startups class taught me about the beginning steps of how to ideate…

Business & Financial Models

For Gate 2 resubmission and Gate 3, we pivoted and shifted our idea to focus on helping restaurants with increasing their revenue and traffic. We received feedback from our mentor, Gloria, to make our problem and solution more clear. We spoke with many restaurants and realized their problem wasn’t the food waste, it was more their decrease in traffic which inevitably led to their decrease in revenue. We pivoted to create a platform that builds a community between restaurants and customers where the restaurants can post all their information from menus, table availability, promotions, etc. …

Taken by John Woodard from Fresh Water Systems

What is hydroponic technology?

Hydroponic is an innovative method of farming where plants can grow in nutrient-fortified water with a controlled-environment. The hydroponic technologies and systems are able to monitor the level of nutrients pH, temperature of the water, the amount of light the plants are receiving, and many more abilities that are being revolutionized every year. The global market size recorded in 2018 by Grand View Research, was $1.33 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.52% from 2019 to 2025.

This method of farming originated in the 19th century when a German botanist, named Julius Sachs…

While working on our gate two deliverable, we also worked on our resubmission of gate one. We continued to validate the problem we wanted to initially focus on, which was food waste generated by restaurants. However, while doing so, we found that although restaurants were facing issues with food waste, the problem that took priority was the decrease in revenue due to lack of traffic. Due to Covid and its continuous ripple affects, restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open. …

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique — SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Evolving Couponing Days of Direct Mail Marketing

When I was a kid, I remember receiving magazines, which included various products, services, events, and promotions. I would flip through to see the latest toys they were releasing and excitedly ran to my mom to convince her to buy them, however, she would just flip to the coupons page to see if there was anything of value to her.

The shift from having to wait to receive or physically find deals and coupons were a hassle for those that were always trying to save a few bucks. …

Photographed by 911 Chef Eric

With the passion to take on the massive global problem of food waste, we presented our ideas to our Entrepreneurial Startups class. Our approach to take on the food waste produced by restaurants, which was by creating a platform, which they can sell their surplus food to consumers, was met with some constructive criticism.


We presented our findings from our market research, initially interviewing restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and chains. We found that our market of partners would be mainly targeted towards local restaurants and cafes instead of supermarkets and big chains. However, the feedback was to develop a customer persona…

Sightseeing at the Golden Gate Bridge on my first week in San Francisco

The closing of doors and the opening of news ones are a part of life. As I closed the door of my new San Francisco apartment and said my last goodbyes to my mom and sister that came to help me settle in, I felt a part of me leave with them, back to Boston.

I grew up in Boston and going to college in Boston didn’t help me explore much of the world on my own. I never had the sense of living on my own up until a week ago. Although I’m a 5th year student and probably…

Barbara Ferreira

Northeastern University Student

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