StartUp Academy students to get firsthand taste of start-up life

A new start-up program in the United States is aiming to give university students a firsthand taste of life in a start-up, but it’s unknown whether the program will be extended to Australia.


The StartUp Academy program is a new initiative from Bain Capital Ventures, the venture arm of Bain Capital, which has offices in the US, Europe and Asia.


Bain Capital Ventures manages $1.5 billion of assets and has more than 70 active portfolio companies.


According to BCV, the StartUp Academy program will offer students invaluable exposure to entrepreneurship, including insights on how to build a business.


“We are looking for elite technical talent from top-tier undergraduate, masters and PhD programs throughout the country who want to make an impact at an awesome start-up company,” it says on its website.


“Individuals will join a full-time or intern-level position at a Bain Capital Ventures portfolio company.”


“In addition, members of StartUp Academy will get exposure to investment partners of Bain Capital Ventures.”


“[They will also] get invited to exclusive entrepreneurial events hosted and sponsored by BCV in Boston, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.”


A total of 21 students have already been selected for the academy’s inaugural class – from an application pool of almost 800 – who will participate in a nine-month trial of the program.


Participating companies include BloomReach, Rent the Runway and SurveyMonkey.


Ajay Agarwal, a managing director at BVC, told BusinessNewsDaily the goal of the StartUp Academy is to create a “fertile ground” to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.


“This [program] uniquely opens doors for companies to benefit from the high-level energy and ‘out of the box thinking’ that college students bring to the table,” he said.


“At the same time, this program offers a unique opportunity for the students to learn and develop key skills in an entrepreneurial, start-up environment.”


Amir Nissen, founder of Student Entrepreneurs at the University of Melbourne, says the idea would work well in Australia.


“My position on these sorts of things is any initiative like that is obviously a good thing. However, it can be dicey,” Nissen told StartupSmart.


“Normally, interns work best with guidance and processes in place [which determine] what they need to do. Start-ups often aren’t like that at all.”


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