Although college is a place where you discover and learn new things, important entrepreneurial hands-on experience is often left out and it doesn’t always represent a part of the curriculum. Thousands of students are therefore getting their BA and MA without the proper insight into their career choice. One particular program – Startup Link, is trying to correct just that by connecting US students with European startups and startups all over the world.
Connecting US students with international startups
Kiril Popov, Startup Link’s co-founder and a recent graduate from NYU’s Stern School of Business told me in an interview that he found himself in a similar position during his first year of business school when he decided to team up with his co-founders Joel Eisen and Alon Ben-Caan and start working on a project which will connect US students with foreign startups in need of US presence and solid marketing and financial talent.
Their first users were their classmates who they’ve managed to connect with several Israeli and Bulgarian startups. The program lasted for a semester during which time the students had to work remotely up to 10 hours per week. Popov stated that the first batch was so successful that some of the students even got an offer to work full-time while others got equity and a chance to run the business in US.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”380″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQu1FAL5OTU[/youtube]
One of the students who spent a semester working for a Bulgarian startup Imagga stated:
After a few meetings with my supervisor, it became apparent that Imagga would benefit most from a stronger sales force. So this became my project. I have been empowered by Imagga’s staff, who have given me great control over this project. I have learned a great deal about marketing and sales techniques throughout my time with them. This experience will benefit me profoundly in my future career in marketing/sales.
Over the past year both Popov and his co-founders focused on providing US students with the best possible internship program focused on entrepreneurship. Several teams from Bulgarian accelerators Eleven and LAUNCHub have already joined the program, while Startup Link is looking beyond Europe and already landing partnerships with incubators in Australia.
Kiril added that so far they have been working with students from NYU, Columbia, MIT, and Temple University and are now looking to expand their coverage by targeting entrepreneurship centers and clubs throughout different universities whom they can now offer a complete picture when it comes to a semester-long internships. By working just 10 hours per week US students can get a better insight into how startups actually work, as well as to familiarize themselves with international startups they don’t read in the media every day.
At the moment Startup Link is accepting applications from startups across CEE for their Fall internship program. Popov and his team are calling in all the startups from Balkans and beyond to join their program. More info about Startup Link is available on the official website.