The Student-Intern Experience at StartFast

By NIKITA DUBNOV, 2014 StartFast Associate

A selfie of the 2014 StartFast Associates

A selfie of the 2014 StartFast Associates

This is a tale of my journey from being an unskilled student to an experienced Associate at the StartFast Venture Accelerator.

After one semester at Cornell in the Information Science program, I became interested in entrepreneurial opportunities in Upstate New York. I took the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class offered through the College of Engineering. Professor John Callister, an icon in the entrepreneurial community at Cornell, taught about how ideas become businesses and how companies are funded.

The class was a fun overview of entrepreneurship. I never got a full sense of how to expand my interests towards real-world opportunities.

This summer, interning at StartFast, I found the ideal place to explore the incomplete understanding of what was taught in class. So far I’ve learned:

  • Web development skills by building company websites.
  • Business development challenges by working with the teams.
  • The nature of support and criticism from the StartFast mentors.

No longer relying on shows and movies like Silicon Valley and The Social Network, I have been able to personally see the challenges that everyday entrepreneurs face. I have also been witness to the magic that happens when a driven group of individuals come together and make an idea become reality.

I value my education and I certainly do not plan to drop out of university to make a startup… unless I think of a billion-dollar idea! I have learned unique and influential lessons in my first month as an Associate at StartFast (by pierce). I encourage anyone interested in startups and technology to urgently seek an opportunity like the one I was lucky enough to engage in.