Atlanta is a city with a reputation for being a leader in high-tech sector jobs and commerce. Students2Startups is a mentoring program helping the city of Atlanta reinforce this status and retain some of the city’s top talent.
“As we continue nurturing Atlanta’s tech startups, an important driver of economic growth and competitiveness for the city, Students2Startups will build on the robust talent base in Atlanta while providing students access to invaluable, hands-on experience in our dynamic startup ecosystem,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta.
Students2Startups began in 2018 as an initiative of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who, together with Invest Atlanta and WorkSource Atlanta, wanted to help continue to build Atlanta’s tech talent pipeline. Invest Atlanta manages the program and, last year alone, paired 20 Atlanta-based students with growing startups. Atlanta-based students are subsidized through the City of Atlanta to complete full-time, paid Summer internships in a wide array of entrepreneurial settings including tech development, business development, and marketing.
High potential students, including those underrepresented in the industry, from Atlanta’s four-year universities—including Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, SCAD and Emory—are eligible to participate in the program.
While interns benefit through hands-on experience with projects in a variety of areas, there also exist enormous benefits to startups as they are given motivated, hard-working students to help their startups grow and flourish. Over the course of three years, S2S will impact nearly 75 Atlanta tech startups.
The program has earned high acclaim from past participants. Ernesto Escobar, CEO of FanaticusXR, praised the program: “The Students2Startups program is fantastic. We were able to work with two talented and motivated students that we wouldn't have been able to afford full-time over the Summer. They made tremendous contributions to the company's technology and culture. We liked them so much that we kept both of them after the program was over."
Cabrice Corporation is another startup greatly assisted through participation in the program. Marcus A. Walker, Director of Business Operations & Finance with Cabrice Corporation, remarked: "We've been working with the Students2Startups program now for a couple years and absolutely love it. Like most start-ups, we don't lack in work, but we're always needing capable people to fill out our teams. S2S consistently puts high-end talent in our office that is ready to learn and get work done. Atlanta is a hot bed for young talent, and S2S does an amazing job helping startups get connected with these individuals."
Students2Startups is currently gearing up for its third season, to be held in the Summer 2020. Both prospective students and startups can get additional information and apply for the program through Invest Atlanta’s website at www.investatlanta.com/students2startups.