At tonight’s Flashpoint meeting I had the opportunity to talk with Heath Hyneman (@hhyneman) and hear his ideas around improving the startup community. One idea really stood out to me: get technical talent from local universities involved in the startup community as early as possible through paid internships. Strong technical talent, once in the workforce, will rarely have to update their resume as there is so much demand for their skills, and job opportunities are abundant.
Big companies, especially local Fortune 500 companies, have huge internships programs due to their size. As a college student, the company or experience that’s most familiar becomes the default choice for a full-time position post graduation. Without exposure to the startup community, a college student is much less likely to look into startups as a career path.
As a long term strategy to grow the startup community, interns are a great way to start. Startups need to make a concerted effort to start recruiting on local campuses and build their technical talent pipeline early.
What else? What are your thoughts on getting more interns involved with startups to grow the startup community?
11 thoughts on “Start With More Interns to Grow the Startup Community”
Great points, David, and I agree. I also believe it even precedes college. We need to target these young people before they matriculate into college. Heading into college, I think it is useful for a young person to have the view that a young tech company/startup is a viable option.
At PlayMotion, we partnered with a local high school and gave 5 amazing kids a great summer internship. It was a smashing success for everyone, including the company.
This is a great point. I’ll keep that in mind.
This is a great idea. Did Heath have any tactical recommendations on how we as a community can build a level of excitement at Georgia Tech around the startup community to increase the supply of startup interns?
We’re looking for ideas and ways to get more involved with Georgia Tech. We need a much stronger on campus presence.
Yea, because if I’m a talented hacker at Georgia Tech, I’m going to work for you for free rather than doing my own startup. Good luck.
+1 … This attitude is the holy grail, IMHO. When a critical mass of this type of thinking is evident, we will have arrived at a much higher point in our evolution as a startup community.
Not sure what crap I accidentally pasted into the Name field … but … lol. My point remains.
I assume you are referring to paid internships? Could be proven wrong, but I doubt you’re going to find Ga Tech students willing to work for peanuts.
Agree, Paul. Even when they offered to work for free to get the experience, I’ve always paid interns, whether high school or college. Work deserves pay, albeit intern pay.
Agreed, we always pay our interns well and want to fully engage them in the business.
DC, you’ve opened up a great topic. My response: http://atlantastartupcommunity.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/how-to-bring-interns-into-the-atlanta-startup-community/