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Companies find lasting value in Launch Tennessee Summer Intern Program

Editor’s note: Applications are currently open for the Summer Intern Program. Find more information online

LaunchTN’s Summer Intern Program is designed to give students hands-on experience in Tennessee’s startup ecosystem. Interns work at a high-growth startup, venture capital firm, or with one of LaunchTN’s eight regional entrepreneur center partners. 

Some of the intern host companies have shared their success stories and the impact that their interns have made for them. 

David Nelson, director
Organization: FoundersForge
The company’s first intern through LaunchTN’s program wanted to try grant writing, and the first grant she wrote won the organization $50,000. She went on to write another grant that got the organization another $40,000. 

“Talk about a payoff for an intern,” Nelson said. “This program has been instrumental in our growth. I know not every intern will be that impactful but so far each one has been an incredible asset to us. Last year’s intern did a short film on entrepreneurship in our region. This year’s intern is already helping us better structure our marketing and communication.”

Stacy Martin, founder
Startup: Seahorse Snacks
The company’s intern suggested that Seahorse Snacks start a TikTok account, and the first video she posted went viral. 

“We have over 1.4 Million views in less than 5 days. This has also resulted in a significant increase in orders. I just wanted to take a minute to brag about my intern and share with you guys how grateful I am for her.”

Cymbeline Culiat, president & chief science officer
Startup: Nell-One
Intern Dana Angeles, wrote a blog about her experience with NellOne.

“I hope you…use the blog to illustrate what an important program [Launch Tennessee has]. Dana has been a world traveler from when she was a baby. Dana even included the local businesses in Knoxville she explored. Her endorsement of the food scene and local business is an important angle. I thought this is a great highlight of your program that is hard to reflect in exit surveys.”


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Launch Tennessee provides an ecosystem map with links and resources to other organizations, but this does not constitute an endorsement of content, viewpoints, policies, products or services of that site. Once you link to another web site not maintained by LaunchTN, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website, including but not limited to its privacy policy.