The best way to train the next generation of entrepreneurs may be to take top students from leading technical graduate and undergraduate programs throughout the country and place them with already- funded startups to help give them a taste of the startup life. That's the value proposition of a new initiative that will provide students with exposure to entrepreneurship and insights on how to build a business and work with innovative technologies.
Through its StartUp Academy program, Bain Capital Ventures (BCV) will recruit top-tier technical talent from programs at leading universities such as Duke, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Waterloo and place them in engineering and product management positions at startups funded by BCV. BCV is the venture capital and growth equity arm of Bain Capital.
The StartUp Academy's inaugural class this year selected 21 students from an applicant pool of 779 to participate in a nine-month trial of the program. The participating companies are expected to continue to hire aggressively though the program and recruitment for the 2013 class will begin this fall, BCV said.
When they join the program, students are placed in full-time or intern-level positions at one of BCV's growing portfolio of companies. All the participating companies are market-leading startups such as BloomReach, Rent the Runway and SurveyMonkey.
In addition to working alongside the management teams of these companies, StartUp Academy members will get exposure to investment partners of BCV and gain exclusive access to entrepreneurial events hosted and sponsored by BCV in Boston, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
"The goal of the StartUp Academy is to create a fertile ground to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs," said Ajay Agarwal, a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. "We are an entrepreneurial-focused firm and this program demonstrates our commitment in developing our portfolio companies and providing them with the opportunity to tap into top talent. This 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. At the same time, this program offers a unique opportunity for the students to learn and develop key skills in an entrepreneurial, startup environment."