Immanual John Milton
The Startup and Emerging Technologies Internship Fair will be hosted for Nashville college students Jan. 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (NEC).
Over 30 companies looking to hire more than 60 college students for the summer will be in attendance. The fair will host a wide range of companies from Asurion, an insurance company, to Contra, a bong manufacturer, and even WeShouldWriteSometime, a ‘Tinder’ for songwriters. A large variety of industries, from health technology to non-profits, will be represented. Registration is required; attendees will have to register by Jan. 12 to attend the event. An exhaustive list of companies attending the fair will be sent by email to those who register by Jan. 13.
The fair was created by NEC Program Coordinator Haley Zapolski. She said she saw a significant divide between start-ups and students looking for internships.
“There are so many schools across the Nashville area. Companies usually having been tending to hire from one school. That frustrated me because the right person might be at a different school,” Zapolski said.
Zapolski invited Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Trevecca, MTSU, TSU and Fisk to attend the event, and she hopes to connect students with companies that they may not have previously known about. She also emphasized the opportunities for interns to learn about all the different business functions at a start-up.
“There’s other opportunities outside of consulting and finance. A lot is happening in the start-up world in Nashville that is really cool and exciting,” Zapolski said. “I had no idea what I wanted to do, nor what the different departments did on a daily basis. To me, that was very confusing, and working at a start-up points clearly out to you what to departments do and what you’re good at and what excites you.”
Zipolski said she wants to develop entrepreneurial talent in Nashville, which would start with college students.
“My number one mission is make Nashville the best place in America to start a business. That is literally what wakes me up and gets me out of bed in the morning,” Zapolski said.
With the help of the NEC, Charles Brandon co-founded Blee Beauty, a company that allows at-home customization of foundation, lipgloss and nail polish using a device connected to your cell phone. Brandon said the NEC allowed him to find his community of entrepreneurs as well as resources to help his business.
“The NEC is one of the few places you can go up to and immediately feel like you’re part of a community,” Brandon said. “They have resources, everything from accounting to marketing to hiring. They have places you can get interns and everything is under one roof.”
Brandon will be hiring an intern at the fair, and he is looking for someone who is excited about his product.
“I’m not hiring you to crunch numbers or use Excel. I’m hiring you if you’re interested in my company,” said Brandon.