Over the past few months, much of our team’s energy has been devoted to helping founders support their teams. It’s been wonderful to see members of the True community band together and support one another by sharing resources, offering advice, and even suggesting tools for mental health and wellness to help each other.
Amidst the change and uncertainty we all face, it’s been important to us that we continue the work we’ve done in other areas of our community. For more than a decade, we’ve been connecting college juniors and seniors with career opportunities in the True Ventures portfolio through our True Entrepreneur Corps (TEC) Fellowship.
While every year prior, students have relocated to the Bay Area to work for True companies for the summer, this year’s TEC Fellows are working with True portfolio teams remotely. They began their fellowships earlier this month, and we’ve been thrilled to see them enthusiastically dive into work from living rooms and kitchen tables across the country. They have fully embraced the opportunity to immerse themselves in startup life. Time with True portfolio companies remains the main focus of the program, which we supplement with a weekly speaker series featuring entrepreneurs and investors from the True family.
We’re thankful to the teams at Directly, Better Place Forests, Hatch, LoanSnap, Pepperlane, and Prellis Biologics for welcoming this year’s class of TEC Fellows. And while the way we work may have changed, the importance of what we do together has not. We’ll continue ensuring that the fellows in our 2020 TEC Class can tap into the magic of these teams in as rich of a manner as possible.
We’d like to officially welcome the 2020 TEC Fellows to the True family and, in their words below, share what they’re excited to learn this summer.
Laura Mediorreal, Directly
Science, Technology, and Society Major at Stanford University
I heard about TEC through a friend who completed the program last year. I also took a class about venture capital in the winter. I loved it, even though it was three hours long. I’m excited to learn how to strategically grow a startup and develop a better understanding of how to define success in this world.
I’ve learned a bit about startups through classes in our design school and through internships but have become more involved in learning about entrepreneurship in out-of-class seminars.
This summer, I want to learn more about AI and gain product management skills. Both play a big role at Directly, the startup I’m joining this summer.
Christina Wang, Hatch
Computer Science and Economics Major at Swarthmore College
Growing up in the Bay Area, I have always been fascinated by technology. Last summer, I interned at a startup in San Francisco and learned that I really enjoy its unpredictable, fast-paced nature.
At Swarthmore, I’m involved in the Tech for Social Good Club and 180 Degrees Consulting. Through these clubs, I work with local nonprofits on projects that have helped me see the benefits of innovation in local communities.
Technology is interesting to me because of its ability to drastically simplify and better our lives. This summer, I’m excited to work with the team at Hatch and a product that does just this. Furthermore, I’m looking forward to learning more about venture capital and entrepreneurship in general.
David Lisbonne, LoanSnap
Computer Science Engineering Major at the University of Michigan
I’ve worked for two startups in San Francisco so far. I love the fast-paced innovation and “building” that’s intrinsic to startups. The ability to create, contribute, and propel an idea forward – even as an intern – is incredible.
At University of Michigan, I work as an official campus tour guide and an opinion columnist at The Michigan Daily. As a columnist, I get to explore new ideas, debate positions with brilliant colleagues, and expand my intellectual horizons beyond classwork.
The prospect of being able to work on challenging software problems and meet talented peers at LoanSnap, all while learning from seasoned investors and entrepreneurs seems too good to be true.
Audrey Mullen, Hatch
Economics Major at Boston College
My friend and teammate Michelle was a TEC Fellow last summer. One day I took the Caltrain after work to her office to meet her cohort of fellows and was immediately interested in the program.
This summer, I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the Hatch team and learn more about how they apply an analytical perspective to creative marketing. I look forward to working with the other TEC Fellows as well!
At school, I’m a member of the Women’s Water Polo team, the Campus Activities Board, and Women Innovators Network. I’m also an Outdoor Adventure Leader in training. Over the past couple of years, I’ve interned with the GSVlabs Startup Accelerator and EdSurge. I love the creative atmosphere and culture of startups.
Bozhena Kulchyckyj, Pepperlane
Information Systems, Business Analytics, and Studio Art Major at Boston College
In terms of TEC, I’m most excited about the community. I cannot wait to be surrounded by driven individuals. The startup world is the only environment where I’ve felt I am at the core of creativity, passion, and innovation.
I was exposed to entrepreneurship before I really even knew what it was. In high school, I hand-painted Converse sneakers, jeans, backpacks, and anything I could get a hold of, turning my love of art into a mini-business.
I am the current co-chair of the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College, which has introduced me to some of the most driven and passionate people I have met. The Shea Center has given me the foundation to explore my interests and build important relationships. I also do freelance web and app design for fun to gain experience.
Jamie Dailey, Better Place Forests
Economics and Sociology Major at Amherst College
I’m really looking forward to joining Better Place Forests, as I love that the company helps both people and the planet. I’m super excited to be part of a team that stands behind these commitments and is passionate about expanding their impact.
I’ve worked at two different startups prior, one in healthtech and the other in clean energy. I loved the fast-paced environment of these companies, and it has been inspiring to see the passion it takes to build a successful product.
I’m a member of the Amherst College Varsity Volleyball team, which has shown me the value of hard work. I also lead a social media group on campus called Amherst Says. I’ve learned to always think a step ahead of the curve to create fun and engaging content.
Zachary Zambuto, Better Place Forests
Computer Science and Engineering Major at the University of Connecticut
I want to wake up excited for the rest of my life. The startup world potentially allows for that because I can use many different skills on the job, not just what I learned in university.
I started my own company in 2018. It ultimately failed but it led to more experiences, such as joining a startup lab the summer of 2019 in New York City.
I’ve searched exhaustively for people who share my interests and found the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Connecticut. It has allowed me to meet other people interested in entrepreneurship, and the group has supported events such as Get Seeded, a Shark Tank-like competition in which I participated and became a judge.
Gabi Wallk, Better Place Forests
Global Affairs and Economics Major at Yale College
I’m really looking forward to working with the bright, creative people at Better Place Forests and being virtually immersed in the entrepreneurial atmosphere of Silicon Valley.
In high school, I co-founded an edtech startup that connects Chicago public school students with free virtual tutors. At Yale, I’m a part of a medtech startup that compares medication options for patients to engage them in the decision-making process. I also serve on the Mental Health Services Committee of my college’s student government.
I think startups are the source of our world’s most creative, progressive ideas and it excites me to be part of shaping that vision.
Tess Remick, Prellis Biologics
Spanish Studies and Journalism Major at Mount Holyoke College
I was immediately drawn to the work Prellis Biologics is pursuing. Organ and tissue engineering using a holographic bioprinter is unimaginable to most people, including myself. I feel lucky to join their team.
Before this experience, I worked at a woman-owned business called Calico in New Bedford, Massachusetts. I jumped in at the perfect time to see a lot of what it takes to run a small business and the behind-the-scenes action on social media. This job was my initial inspiration in business.
At my school, I’m a writer for the Health & Science section of the Mount Holyoke News. During my past year abroad in Seville, Spain, I met weekly with Spanish students who wanted to interact with North American students. Together, these activities have allowed me to gain insights and given me a global perspective.
Rachel Luo, Better Place Forests
Sociology Major at Barnard College
For the last few years, I was very convinced I wanted to be in fashion, and then advertising. I found that after a few internships, what I really want is to be in marketing.
My sister sent out a tweet asking any marketers at technology companies if they’d be willing to chat, and True Entrepreneur Corps alum’ Indra Sofian answered with an explanation of how formative his TEC experience had been!
I’m currently a board member of CORE, the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs. One of the experiences that has shaped my view of the startup world is my on-campus role as the executive director of Columbia Bartending, a mixology school and bartending agency.
Riley Fox, Directly
Applied Economic Major at Ithaca College
I’m excited to join Directly this summer because I’ll have the opportunity to apply my analytics knowledge in a way that will contribute to something larger than my degree.
Last summer I was an intern at a startup where I was one of three employees. That experience, along with the stories I’ve read about startup successes have inspired me to want to help grow a business I believe in.
At Ithaca College, I was the treasurer of the Lower Terrace Community Council, I have been a member of a politics club, and I’m a founding member of my college’s Analytics Club. I’ve also recently joined two national honors societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Epsilon.
Amelia Brennan, Hatch
Public Policy, Creative Arts, and Spanish Major at Sarah Lawrence College
I’m really excited to learn more about the startup world and challenge myself. I’m looking most forward to improving my design skills at Hatch and meeting new people.
The startup world seems to propel collaborative, all-hands-on-deck, creative environments. I don’t have any experience with the startup world, but I’m excited about this opportunity to learn.
At school, I’m involved in UNIDAD, the Latinx student union on my school campus, and I take art and digital design classes. These activities have impacted my interests and passion for creativity and community.
Kate Clawson, Better Place Forests
Engineering Psychology Major at Tufts University
Before being selected for TEC, I hadn’t had much exposure to the startup world, apart from what I’ve learned from the How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz. I’m excited to understand how a business starts from the ground up and becomes successful.
On campus, I’m involved in Tufts’ branch of TEDx, which plans the annual TEDxTufts event. I’m on the design and web team, so I help create all visual elements and marketing for the event. Planning it has been very interesting both in terms of witnessing the work that goes into an event like this, as well as creating the day-of experience we’re after where we showcase different perspectives and progressive thinking.
This summer, I’m excited to apply skills that I’ve begun to develop over the past few years to a company with a completely different mission and culture than what I’ve experienced so far.