Venture Intern Program Applications Now Open

Venture Intern Program Applications Now Open
Cari Humphry

Applications are now open for the Spring 2023 Venture Intern Program, an internship that pairs undergraduate students with early-stage ventures, entrepreneurship support organizations, regional accelerator programs and investor networks across Northwest Arkansas for a semester.

The program includes a paid, 12-week assignment with a host organization, as well as supplemental training opportunities, cohort meetings and coaching/support from experienced mentors.

Applications for interested students and organizations will close at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21.

Morgan Walker, a recent U of A graduate and English/creative writing major, described her experience as "career changing" as VIP introduced her to the world of entrepreneurship.

"The Venture Intern Program taught me that entrepreneurship is not just for business and engineering students, but also for people like me from the humanities majors," Walker said.

"I learned so much from my supervisor, Phil Shellhammer (director of the U of A Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program and co-founder of Eksplor) and realized the value that my unique skillset brought to the company. This experience changed the trajectory of my career path."

This program is open to juniors and seniors in good standing from any discipline at the U of A with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher. Participating students must be eligible to enroll in a minimum of one hour of cooperative education credit. 

Students should be prepared to wear many hats and maintain a high degree of professionalism and autonomy. In exchange, they can expect direct access to founders and an opportunity to play an essential role in a highly dynamic environment.

The U of A  Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation launched the program in Spring 2020, which has now provided 197 students exposure to the workings of early-stage ventures and the Northwest Arkansas entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This interdisciplinary group of students, representing diverse majors from six colleges, has supported over 180 startups and support organizations since the inception of the program.

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio, Startup Village, and Greenhouse at the Bentonville Collaborative, OEI provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions and startup coaching. A unit of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and Division of Economic Development, OEI also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.


Jason Riley, manager, Venture Intern Program
Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Brandon Howard, public information specialist
World Trade Center Arkansas


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