Archive for 'Classes'


Internships at startups: an alternative to MBAs

Posted on 05. Feb, 2014 by in blog, Classes, Colearn, Coworking, Funding, San Francisco, SOMA, startup camp, Startups

Don’t waste your money doing an MBA.
Get an internship instead.

Wanna be an entrepreneur? It takes more than just passion and desire. You need real skills to succeed, but where do you get them? A surprising number of people think that they should do an MBA. I don’t blame them. After all, universities invest a significant amount of effort convincing potential students that getting an MBA is a good idea. The cruel reality, though, is that MBA programs tend to be terrible at teaching entrepreneurship and, in particular, tech entrepreneurship. They are slow, expensive, include too much theory and not enough practice, and, more importantly, they are taught by people that have not been entrepreneurs themselves. Fortunately, there is a better alternative: Internships at tech startups. Here is why:

MBAs are about enterprise-level management while internships can be about entrepreneurship. The skills required to manage and be part of a 5,000 person company are different than the skills required to start and grow a company. In fact, enterprise-level management techniques may negatively affect the chances of success of your future startups. For example, using balance scorecards[1] and KPIs may be great for companies in advanced stages of growth, but they are an overkill for startups at the MVP stage.

Internships provide more hands-on knowledge than MBAs. While an MBA program will teach you a lot of theory, an internship will allow you to learn [a fraction of] that theory put to practice, plus many more techniques that are not taught in MBAs.

Internships are faster than MBAs. An MBA program lasts between one and two years. In contrast, you can do two or four internships in just one year. Don’t have a year? No problem. If you’re a fast learner, interning for six months may be enough.

Internships are less expensive than MBAs. Top MBA programs cost more than $100,000[2], not including living expenses. Internships cost 0. In fact, if you’re lucky, you may get a paid internship. This means that instead of you paying to learn, you’ll get paid to learn!

Assuming you want to do an internship already, these are some factors to keep in mind:

Intern at a startup with a team of less than 50 people. In a team of less than 50 you’re likely to interact with the founders and managers making important decisions. You’ll learn a lot from them. Also, you’re likely to get exposure to many different areas of the business. In larger teams, you are likely to interact with low-level managers that joined the company later in the game and are not likely to be too entrepreneurial. Also, you may have to focus in just one area of the business, missing out on the big picture.

Intern at a startup that is making money and growing. When revenue and growth are achieved, you have a company with a real business model. You want to learn how they got there. Don’t join a startup without a business model, a startup that is not making money, or a startup that is not growing, even if they have raised capital. Such companies may only teach you how to raise capital to subsidize the operation of a company, which is not sustainable. In fact, I recommend giving higher priority to bootstrapped companies.

Intern at a startup that is located in a tech innovation hub. You’ll be able to attend plenty of networking events and meetups. The people you’ll meet may change your life. I’ve met most of my co-founders at networking events. If in the US, I suggest startups in the Bay Area, New York City, and Boston. After all, it’s not only what you know, but who you know.

Visas are not necessarily an issue. Depending on your nationality and the country of the startup, it may be technically illegal for you to work there. Fortunately, some startups won’t care. Give the company the option to get paid in your country of origin as if you were an overseas contractor.

If possible, join a startup founded by a serial entrepreneur. Serial entrepreneurs, specially successful ones, have “been there and done that” several times. They are the equivalent of teachers with PhDs. These companies are more likely to follow successful, structured techniques that you will find useful in your future endeavors.

Target startups that don’t offer internships. Although some startups proactively look for interns, some don’t have the time do so. Find startups that you like and cold-email their founders. Messages like “Hey Joe. I’m willing to work for you for free just to learn from your wisdom” are very likely to grab the attention of the recipient. Even if only 10% of them reply, that’s still a good conversion rate!

A final word: Getting an MBA is a good way of telling others that you like to follow the crowd.
Tech entrepreneurship is about innovation. Innovation means disruption. Innovation is doing things that others don’t dare to do.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_scorecard
[2] http://poetsandquants.com/2011/01/08/how-much-does-a-top-mba-degree-cost/

 

tumblr_la71ah37Tg1qbnnljo1_500Alex Torrenegra-

Founder and CEO of Bunny Inc. (VoiceBunny, Voice123, BunnyCast) and Torrenegra Labs. Techie, activist, investor, offroader.

 

Silicon Valley Code Camp 2013

Posted on 04. Aug, 2013 by in blog, Classes, Code Camp, Colearn, Coworking, Designers, Developers, Local News, San Francisco, San Jose, SOMA, startup camp, Startups, SVCC, Tech Clinics

This code camp though is not a “one day and your done” code camp. On the contrary, this FREE code camp is unique in that is it lasts ALL WEEKEND. That’s right; you have 2 days to make it out to this FREE event. The Silicon Valley Code Camp will be held this Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 and this Sunday October 4th, 2009 at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA.

There is slated to be 150 sessions at this year’s code camp covering over 75+ topics. Add to that there are already over 1,200 people registered for this year’s code camp. So if you live or will be in the Silicon Valley area and are interested in networking with other developers and learning new skills (and in this tough economy, who isn’t?), then you should make it out to the Silicon Valley Code Camp.

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com

 

Internship: Summer of Coworking

Posted on 29. May, 2013 by in blog, Classes, Coworking, Designers, Developers, Internships, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Residency, San Francisco, SOMA, Startups

Citizen Space is the worlds first coworking space , and is located in the SOMA/South Park district of San Francisco.The space is for hard-working, fun-loving: entrepreneurs, designers, web and software developers, social media consultants, marketing professionals, etc.We’re looking for a passionate and hard-working individual who loves what coworking is all about and is will do what it takes to make Citizen Space thrive (while honing your marketing, client relations, and event management skills).

You will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Marketing Communications: Assist with and lead marketing and outreach projects. Examples of the types of projects you will work on include: developing web site content, writing e-newsletter articles, designing e-newsletters, qualifying networking opportunities and working in social media. This role can grow or change depending on the interests of the intern. Possibility to work on graphic design projects.
  • Membership/Visitor Relations: Be present in the space to answer resident, visitor and Drop-In inquiries. Help with general physical upkeep of the space. Other possible projects: Member Survey, Wiki redesign, Member lunches, misc research projects.
  • Event Production: Assist with organization and coordination of evening (and occasionally weekend) events. This includes planning, answering questions, promoting, set up and clean up.
  • Coworking: How coworking works (history and how to), current residents, entrepreneurial practices, small business management, community development, etc.

Terms: Internship: 15-18 hours/week (including occasional evenings/weekends for events); hours flexible. Small stipend available, plus use of Citizen Space for your own projects. You will also be part of this community and develop relationships with the 20 professionals that work in this space (who may offer paid work/internship opportunities as well)

Minimum commitment: 3 months. There is the possibility for this experience to turn into a paid part-time position at the end of the internship.

Qualifications. Mature, recent or soon-to-be college graduate or similar professional. Experience or interest in communications, marketing, community development or related areas. Must be detail-oriented, self-motivated, passionate, dependable, responsible and play well with others. Must be computer literate and have your own laptop. Sense of humor always appreciated.

To Apply: Email your resume and a cover letter explaining your work history, what you offer, what you hope to learn from Citizen Space, and why you stand out from other candidates.

No phone calls. Emails welcome. Email: Gina & Toby Morning, General Manager, & Owners at citizenspace@gmail.com (this is an email for internship applications/inquiries.)

Application deadline: asap
Internship to start date: June 15

Look forward to hearing from you!

App Analytics with Keen IO

Posted on 01. Apr, 2013 by in Classes, Designers, Developers

What is the goal of your app and how to do you measure its success? Do you know what features in your app or website are used most? Do you know what landing page converts more visitors? Is your company trying to become more “data-driven” or follow the lean startup methodology? In this introduction to analytics class, we’ll review some of the cool ways you can use analytics to improve your product.

The class will start off with a presentation on analytics practices and tools. We’ll review concepts like event tracking, A/B testing, segmentation, conversion, and retention. In the second half of the class, we’ll explore a sample data set and do some hands-on exercises that illustrate data modeling and querying.

This class will be taught by Michelle Wetzler, a data engineer at Keen IO. There are no prerequisites for this class. Just bring your laptop and your desire to learn.

Get Tickets online here

Free Colearn Ruby 101 Class

Posted on 15. Feb, 2013 by in Classes, Developers, San Francisco

Seating is limited, Please Reserve your seat here

This class will cover classes, objects, modules, array, hash, class

methods, instance methods, symbols and strings. Students will
learn the basics required to learn Rails.

Reserve your seat here

A word from your instructor, Bala Paranj

“I have been working with Ruby on Rails since May 2006. I have developed web applications in Perl, Java and Ruby.

I have benefited from the contributions of the open source community and I would like to contribute back to the Ruby community”

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