Internships are a possibility for college students to experiment with new profession paths and land a full-time provide forward of commencement. For firms, the weeks-long packages assist recruit and practice job-ready hires.
Whereas the stakes are excessive, the coronavirus-spurred workplace closures and market volatility made various tech companies slim down or cancel their internship packages. Just like distant education, the startups that stored their packages had an enormous hurdle to face: How do you educate and practice college students internationally about your organization?
That’s the place Symba, a Techstars alum, is available in. The 12-person startup created a white-label software program device to assist firms, together with Robinhood and Genentech, create a web based house to speak and collaborate with their now-distributed interns.
“Yearly, organizations are reinventing the wheel and beginning their internship program from scratch,” Ahva Sadeghi, CEO of Symba, mentioned. “It’s like, you’re spending a lot cash, this can be a core a part of your recruitment, however you’re not invested in an infrastructure to ensure it’s sustainable.”
Symba sells a plug-and-play workspace for each interns and managers. Interns signal into Symba by means of a branded touchdown web page and are introduced right into a workspace. They’ll then toggle between suggestions, group, profiles and initiatives. There’s additionally a whole space for onboarding tutorials and firm historical past.
Sadeghi is joined by co-founder and CTO Nikita Gupta, who constructed all the website from scratch.
Symba was constructed with an enormous deal with creating channels for suggestions between interns and managers. There’s a tab devoted solely to suggestions, the place managers can constantly rank their direct reviews on a five-star score scale throughout numerous expertise. Interns are additionally capable of request suggestions.
Every person is invited to create a profile so different interns can attain out and study their cohort. Whereas Symba desires to be the place interns reside throughout their internship, there’s no direct messaging mechanisms inside the web-based platform. As an alternative, Symba has embedded a Slack integration for customers who wish to speak immediately.
Managers, however, are capable of log in, assign duties and verify on progress for his or her direct reviews. Suggestions can be tracked through the entirety of the internship, to assist see who has made progress and deserves a possible return provide.
As a result of interns are available for less than eight to 12 weeks, she says the standard internship onboarding course of — which incorporates bringing all of them onto an organization’s full-time tech stack — might create chaos for the group. Symba desires to be a low-lift various.
Sadeghi says that clients have been interested in the alumni options of their platform, which permit managers to have interaction interns after this system is full. The applicant-tracking system works to maintain potential hires within the fold of the corporate.
To this point, Symba is optimistic that the device is working. Customers log into the product a mean of six to 9 occasions per day, and there have been greater than 15,000 intern-projects created on Symba.
The corporate declined to reveal income, citing the stage of its enterprise, however mentioned that it costs firms $30 to $50 per person monthly for the product. The common measurement of a Symba cohort is 80, however they’ve had clients who carry greater than 2,000 interns onto the product. It solely works with firms who pay their interns.
A hurdle of Symba would be the seasonality of its income. As a result of most internships are in the summertime, Symba will probably discover most development alternatives throughout that three-month interval.
Symba’s early development is immediately associated to the pandemic, because the worry of the virus closed places of work, and, in flip, shuttered internship packages. Symba’s success will hinge on if the workforce can persuade firms that a web based workspace for interns is a needed product even when places of work reopen.
Past translating right into a post-pandemic world, Symba desires to be an answer for purchasers corresponding to bootcamps, accelerators or fellowships. If it’s capable of land year-round purchasers, will probably be capable of steadiness the seasonality of its present income of summer season internships.
The success to this point is promising: Early momentum has helped Symba increase $750,000 from various traders, together with 1517 Fund, January Ventures and Hustle Fund.