experiences / StartupConnect


StartupConnect offers opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to network with startups to learn more about what it’s like to work at a startup, and to seek internships and full-time positions. The many opportunities available through StartupConnect are made possible through a generous gift from Lisa Blau (T’97).

Throughout the year, StartupConnect hosts both virtual and in-person office hours to give students the opportunity to meet with professionals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The 2016-17 office hours series included Jim Scheinman(T’88), a leading venture capitalist in autonomous vehicles; Mark Stevens, a startup and tech company lawyer; Shiva Rajaraman, a former product manager at Spotify; and Jed Simmons (T’82), serial media entrepreneur.

The Startup Connect Networking Fair brings startup employers to campus for a casual networking event that resembles a job fair. The 2017 StartupConnect Networking Fair was attended by 23 companies and more than 300 students.

Students can also connect to Duke alumni mentors through the Alumni Advisor Network powered by Firsthand. Since the network’s launch in early 2017, more than 400 Duke alumni mentors have signed up for the platform, and more than 100 consultations have been conducted.

Students can also explore internships through Duke I&E’s Startup Intern Rodeo, an ongoing listing of internship opportunities from Duke alumni for Duke students.

ANDY ROTH L‘11, L’12

Co-Founder of Lead-Tracking Platform Rocketbolt

“I’ve been to the StartupConnect Networking Fair every year and have hired about 15 interns from the fair. The quality of the interns we get is great, and it’s great to work within the community.”