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Startup Summer aims to match college students with 100 summer internships in Boston

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 31, 2012 04:20 PM

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Cory Bolotsky, a student at Northeastern University, is working on a worthy new project: Startup Summer, which wants to place 100 college students in internships at Boston-area companies this year.

"The student population is by far the most valuable resource we have in Massachusetts, but we really need more good ways to integrate them into the start-up ecosystem," says Bolotsky, who worked briefly for the MassChallenge start-up competition before becoming the first director of Startup Massachusetts in December. (Startup Massachusetts is part of the national Startup America Partnership, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship and is marking its one-year anniversary today.)

Startup Summer will be a major project of Startup Massachusetts, he says. (Bolotsky is overseeing both on a pro bono basis, as his Northeastern co-op project.) One element will be collecting internship opportunities from local companies and then promoting them to students. "We'll do outreach to students and pre-screening of their applications, so we can send only the top of the top to companies," Bolotsky says. "But in addition to the internship matching, we'll also do events and workshops for the students this summer, so they can get to be comfortable in the ecosystem and build relationships."

He's hoping to do a pilot test with 100 internships this summer, and eventually scale up to 500 internships each year. Bolotsky is working right now to try to scare up some state or philanthropic funding for the program, so the interns' stipends would be subsidized. "The ideal would be that we'd have a subsidy that would cover $3600, for instance, and the company would pay $3600 per intern," he says. The program will primarily focus on internships for software developers, designers, and general businesspeople.

Students will be able to send in their internship applications next week, and Startup Summer is looking for more companies to participate in this summer's pilot test.

"The end goal," he says, "is fixing this brain drain problem."

That's a pretty important problem to work on...

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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