What I Learned from My Internship with Venture Partners

Venture Partners is CU Boulder’s revitalized technology transfer office. Venture Partners translates groundbreaking solutions into economic and social impact by building new ventures from world-leading research and creative works.

During my time with Venture Partners, I learned what it takes to develop and maintain a company by observing and assisting with the Venture Partners educational programming for faculty researchers, lab scientists & engineers. From understanding the role of customer discovery in evaluating the commercial application of a technology, to fine tuning product/market fit, building the right team, developing a comprehensive IP strategy, (endless) bureaucratic tasks, and, importantly, getting funded.

For example, I observed a company that successfully pivoted from a mycelial battery technology to alternative meat products. I saw dozens of teams work to establish a framework for their startups by honing their value propositions, perfecting their company pitches, and winning significant amounts of non-dilutive funding (the best kind).

After graduating at the end of 2019, I did not know how to translate my ability to write an essay against Spinoza’s determinism or remember the molecular signaling cascades of synapses into a career. I knew that I had the drive to help others and I wanted to be involved with an organization that would have a positive impact on the world. Several people recommended that my background, raw skills and personality were suited to the business world. However, I had no idea where to find the entry point. I applied for a mixed bag of jobs from Regulatory Affairs Associate to Pharmacy Technician. Naturally, I ended up as a cashier at a grocery store. I now have the mindset and skills that qualify me for jobs I did not think I could be considered for a year ago.

Interning with Venture Partners was an incredible experience. Being a part of the team driving collaboration between academia and entrepreneurship was a fantastic introduction to the business world, widened my understanding of the impact innovative ecosystems can have, and was endlessly fascinating!