CED and Duke I&E Launch Inaugural Startup Talent and Training Internship Program

RTP, NC, December 21, 2023 – The Council for Entrepreneurial Development announces the launch of the Startup Talent and Training (TNT) internship program, conducted in partnership with Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This 10-week paid internship initiative aims to invest in students, fostering their growth and success in North Carolina’s vibrant innovation economy. The program, which ran its inaugural cohort this fall, featured four exceptional students from Duke University: Jarrett Mansergh, Jenna Houchins, Lhamo Dixey, and Shaan Yadav.

Startup TNT seeks to expose students to the broader startup ecosystem outside their university, with the ultimate goal of retaining high-quality talent within the Triangle. Through a 10-week rotational internship, participants gain hands-on experience across various aspects of CED, including investor relations, startup support, programs, events, and board management.

CED has long been committed to nurturing the next generation of talent, contributing to the success of premier, high-growth startups in the Triangle. The CED Alumni group, consisting of former interns, contract, and full-time employees, continues to play a pivotal role in the Triangle’s startup ecosystem, contributing to the growth of businesses in the region.

With existing ties to and a history of collaboration with Duke University, CED selected Duke as the pilot school for the Startup TNT program. Duke students have consistently been among the most actively engaged groups in CED’s student volunteer opportunities.

“The Startup TNT program stands as a strategic response to the pressing need for access to early-stage talent, particularly those key operators who are instrumental in propelling innovation,“ shares Kelly Rowell, CEO at CED. “We are dedicated to bridging this gap by actively facilitating connections between startups and essential resources, emphasizing that human capital is fundamental to accelerating business growth.”

The internship program has received positive feedback from participants, who cite the program’s impact on their personal and professional development.

Houchins, a fall intern who will now help lead the spring 2024 cohort, said, “The internship was a transformative experience. I was exposed to multifaceted aspects of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and non-profit management from a strategic planning perspective and day-to-day execution.”

Yadav, a fellow member of the inaugural cohort originally from the UK, pointed to the unexpected opportunities available in the Triangle, saying, “I did not know much, or even think much, about where the best place to start an entrepreneurial journey in the US might be. Through meeting and talking with people in the Triangle area during my time at CED, I’ve realized that there’s a lot more to be found than in a lot of other places. There almost seems to be an abundance of opportunity here that most people, at least at university, are oblivious to, and that’s why they don’t take advantage of it.”

Anna Jacobs, Program Manager at Duke I&E, said, “The Startup TNT program provides such valuable hands-on experience for students, in addition to cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in the Triangle and growing our region’s uniquely collaborative ecosystem.”

For more information about the Startup TNT internship program, please visit CED’s student engagement website. Duke University students interested in applying for the spring 2024 cohort are encouraged to do so by January 3, 2024 through the Duke University portal.

About CED (Council for Entrepreneurial Development)

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development was formed in 1984 by a group of business leaders wanting to empower the successful creation and growth of entrepreneurial companies in the North Carolina region. CED acts as the connective center for all of this to happen. Through high-touch support, education, access to capital, and crucial connections, CED brings entrepreneurs together with the optimal resources needed to turn a new company into a success story. For more information go to www.cednc.org.

About Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E) inspires and empowers the Duke community to act entrepreneurially in all their endeavors. A partnership between Duke Interdisciplinary Studies and The Fuqua School of Business, Duke I&E provides students, alumni, and others in our community the best of what Duke has to offer innovators and entrepreneurs. With experiential programs, world–class faculty and researchers, and a powerful global network, Duke I&E works to help our community change the world. For more information, visit https://entrepreneurship.duke.edu.

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