The City of Atlanta officially announced the launch of Students2Startups – an initiative of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Invest Atlanta and WorkSource Atlanta. Developed to help the city continue to build its tech talent pipeline, Students2Startups will subsidize high-potential students, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in the technology industry, for entrepreneurial-focused internships at Atlanta-based startup companies. In addition, this innovative initiative will support Atlanta startups by meeting some of their tech talent needs – helping to retain more of Atlanta’s top talent in the city.
“Students2Startups will connect more of our college and university students to a network of Atlanta’s seasoned entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Bottoms. “All too often, Atlanta’s next generation of innovators and job creators lack access to the financial resources and institutional knowledge needed to succeed in a 21st-century economy. Through mentorship programs like Students2Startups, the City aims to open doors of opportunity for our students and startups while reinforcing Atlanta’s reputation as a leading city for high-tech sector jobs and commerce.”
Startup companies often have limited budgets for the talent necessary to scale up in a swift and nimble manner. As a result, they often rely on unpaid interns, which can be financially challenging for students with limited resources. In addition, many students need assistance connecting to Atlanta’s startup ecosystem to help them develop entrepreneurial skills through experiential learning.
“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.
WorkSource Atlanta will subsidize internships for 14 students interested in technology-focused summer internships. Invest Atlanta will partner with Startup Atlanta to identify program participants and support ongoing program management.
“Students2Startups is an innovative program that will create meaningful career opportunities in Atlanta’s high-demand information technology sector,” said Audrey Lawrence, WorkSource Atlanta’s Interim Executive Director. “This program will help Atlanta build the strong and resilient IT workforce needed to compete regionally, nationally, and globally.”
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. Participating Atlanta-based startups will commit to providing mentorship and creating a substantive work plan to expose students to various tech-related careers. Students2Startups will also provide professional development opportunities during the program, including ChooseATL's After 5 program and a Startup Atlanta lunch-and-learn series to help students deepen their inroads into Atlanta’s entrepreneurial community.
Students and startups can get additional information and apply for the program through Invest Atlanta’s website at www.investatlanta.com/students2startups.