Rare internship opportunity for students in local business accelerator

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Are you a student who nerds out about business models and sales? Perhaps you love to create beautiful things or daydream about marketing? Or is telling amazing visual stories more up your alley?

If you answered yes — or even maybe — to any of these questions, the Entrepreneur Internship Program has an opportunity for you that’s too good to pass up. Don’t let the fact that the program is run by the Department of Management in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business give you pause. This rare opportunity is open to all students, regardless of their majors. 

The program is offering a unique paid internship with five companies at once through local accelerator Lighthouse Labs.

So instead of having an intern be assigned directly to one startup, we decided to create a project team at Lighthouse Labs.

Jay Markiewicz
Jay Markiewicz

“Lighthouse Labs has five startup companies in the accelerator program,” said Jay Markiewicz, executive director of Entrepreneurship Programs in the School of Business. “And those startup companies each have different needs. So instead of having an intern be assigned directly to one startup, we decided to create a project team at Lighthouse Labs, which will be comprised of five to six VCU interns [this semester] on a team that’s going to support all five startups.”

Paid positions — as well as volunteer positions for those looking for experience — are available in business development, digital storytelling/videographer/photographer, graphic arts/user experience/communication arts and marketing/social media/public relations.

“You can see why this would be open to everybody in the university,” Markiewicz said. “And think about that as a project team — all that different talent supporting all five of those startups. When you’re a startup company in an accelerator … you often need support in many different ways.

“You need somebody to help you tell your story and brand it. You need help figuring out your marketing plan and how to advertise. You may need some help in creating professional slides with video and pictures and you definitely need help with honing in on your business model and how you’re going to make money and what your finances look like. Because you need help in all of that, one student probably doesn’t bring any expertise in all those things. So putting together a team of students that are cross-disciplinary, means that all of those students can support all of those startups in the many different ways that they need help.”

While the real-life experience will distinguish the students and set them apart for future job opportunities, they gain the added benefit of supporting five diverse startup companies.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to see how to start and grow a company from that zero to one year time frame,” Markiewicz said.

Applications and information on each position can be found at http://www.lighthouselabsrva.com/jobs.html.

Three of the five startups selected for the accelerator program were founded by VCU students or alumni. For more on those companies, visit https://news.vcu.edu/article/VCU_entrepreneurs_companies_receive_20000_in_funding_mentorship .


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