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  •  Entrepreneurs' Choice Award to SCU Team

    Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011 12:05 AM

    A team of Santa Clara University School of Business MBA students received “The Entrepreneurs’ Choice” award during the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) held at Southern California University on March 4.

    The students, all from the class of 2011, placed third in the overall competition, which included MBA teams from California and the western states. Kannan Anathanarayanan, Rosy Bagai, Kamal Koliya, Ravinder Kumar, and Ganesan Velajan, were the SCU team that had previously won in the internal business school “intramurals,” sponsored by the Entrepreneurs’ Connection (a graduate business student club),  and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

    Similar to a business plan competition, the VCIC emphasizes the role of venture capitalists. Teams heard real-life pitches from entrepreneurs, and were scored on their analysis and evaluation of the plans. Team members said the biggest takeaway from the event was the emphasis on relationships—from picking a strong team at the start to developing relationships with the entrepreneurs. “VCs and entrepreneurs bet on the execution capability of the team, more than the idea or technology,” said the SCU team. “If the idea is good, but there is a poor fit between the entrepreneur and the VC, the deal might not go through.”

    Alumni Steve Foster ‘84, Rocky Pimentel ‘77, and Andy Bartley MBA ‘10 were SCU team mentors, and Abhinav Talwar “11, president of the Entrepreneur Connection, coordinated the events.

  •  This Ain't Your Father's Internship

    Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 12:00 AM

    A Feb. 22 Startup Expo at Santa Clara University offers students the chance for an internship at one of dozens of Silicon Valley startups in areas like Internet coupons, solar power, online retail, and customized iPhone apps.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 16, 2011--- Santa Clara University business student Katherine King’s first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there.

    At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company’ s CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

    For King, a junior majoring in finance, it’s a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it.

    “I feel like I’m really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I’m doing,” she says.

    With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

    Other students get internships through the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university’s entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

    The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. “We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

    To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University’s career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies – some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

    Employers are eager for the interns. “Every company needs that energy,” said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that’s hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees.

    For the interns, it’s an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. “At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,” said Sollman.

    Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

    *Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.
    *Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.
    *Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.
    * Full-time job opportunities.

    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | |  (408) 554-5121

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