My name is Alex Mielke and I am a rising Junior at Boston College studying Finance and Info Systems. During this internship, I am working with SendMe Mobile splitting my time between Finance and Operations.
As this first week has gone by in no time, one of the things that I have noticed is that working for a startup has to match your personality. If you are someone that is easily frustrated if things do not work out as initially planned, working for a startup will not be the right thing for you. Because of the rapid growth especially of early stage companies, there is rarely any consistency in almost anything for a long time.
One of my tasks that has made me notice this was trying to optimize the way the company uses data analysis to detect variations in the cost per Net Successfully Billed Subscriber (NSBS, a customer that has confirmed his order for a ringtone or game by submitting a PIN and stayed past midnight Pacific Time) that directly impact whether the company is able to turn a profit. Getting all this data in order for the daily 11am meeting is currently still being done with the help of rather complex Excel spreadsheets that directly access an underlying SQL database. Since marketing campaigns are constantly added or changed, however, automating these tasks to decrease the amount of time necessary to update the spreadsheets has proven to be rather difficult. Some formulas that worked for yesterday’s spreadsheets often no longer work tomorrow when the underlying data has changed.
Apart from working on improving the data analysis, I was also able to look into the way Employee Stock Options are issued and how the company finances its daily operations through the use of an aggregator and Accounts Receivable borrowing. So far, I have really enjoyed my time at SendMe and I am looking forward to learning a lot more over the course of the next seven weeks.
What a week! When I arrived to SendMe on Monday I was anxious as to what I’d be doing, but after being briefed on the details of the company I soon felt more comfortable. After learning how to navigate several different data portals, I began working on a project with the marketing team. A new ad campaign was recently launched using banner ads – I have spent the last few days computing individual ad success rates to figure out which ones to keep and which ones to scrap. We have now developed a few new banner ads based on the research that I have done. We will be launching them soon and I will be constantly tracking them so we can optimize and lower the customer acquisition cost for these ads. We have a long way to go on this campaign so I will definitely be busy in the next few weeks. I will keep you posted on our progress.
Today, we’re excited to welcome the first group of participants to TEC, True Ventures’ first summer internship program designed to expose young entrepreneurs to talented startup mentors and managers in the True portfolio.
As we wrote in our blog post announcing the program in April…
We’re introducing the True Entrepreneur Corps (TEC) in hopes that one small effort can build resources for the early stage ecosystem and foster the spirit of possibility in tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.
TEC is a program for college students to join True and our portfolio for the summer. Students will work directly at one of our companies for the summer, and they will participate in a robust program of speakers designed to expose TEC participants to the top trends, methods, and innovators in the early stage markets. TEC participants will be hand picked from universities across the US and matched to specific and identified needs in our portfolio. True covers the cost of the TEC folks for our companies, so for the portfolio founders this is a source of free, very talented, motivated labor. For the students, we hope that our platform can expose them to the world of startups and innovation early-on in their education. Our goal is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with experience and resources that could impact their career at an early age.
True was founded with the belief that the entrepreneur is the protagonist and creative hero in the technology world. Since our beginning, we’ve made every decision with the viewpoint that the early stage, founding entrepreneur is our customer. While we can only invest in a very few entrepreneurs each year, we believe it’s our duty and responsibility to help support all entrepreneurs in their quest to create a better tomorrow. Creating TEC enables us to do two things: build resources for our portfolio at a time when they’re needed most and provide a valuable service to True’s future customers and our country’s great hope: the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome this group of undergraduate students to our program, and are honored that they’ve chosen to join us and our portfolio companies for what we believe will be a fantastic summer. Watch this space as the next few months progress for updates from all TEC participants on their startup experiences.