At OIF, interns aren’t coffee fetchers—unless they’re feeding their own caffeine addiction—and our summer 2019 cohort of interns has gotten its fill of real world experiences. Throughout our 10-week internship, students take on the role of an analyst, attending board meetings with our partners, conducting due diligence on potential investments and working in the trenches with our entrepreneurs.

Several of our interns jumped right into the VC world, accompanying our partners to important meetings during their very first weeks on the job. Here’s what they learned:

Tony Mango, Ohio State University ’19

I attended a shareholder’s event at Eccrine Systems, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, during my first week at OIF. Numerous venture investors from the Midwest attended this event, which provided a great setting to network and meet new industry professionals, including members of the Eccrine team, of course. During this meeting, it was the first time I saw an experienced entrepreneur give a live pitch to investors outside of the television show “Shark Tank.” Bob Beech, the executive chairman of Eccrine, presented a compelling new business opportunity to investors. Firsthand, I witnessed Beech, a serial entrepreneur, pitch to an audience of sharks and convince investors that Eccrine is well suited to strike billions in value in the coming years.

As I continue my studies in medical product development, I am interested in exploring the ins-and-outs of medical device startups and how investors evaluate them. This experience was a great introduction to a day in the life of an OIF intern, and I look forward to learning more about what elements investors look for in a company, as well as the qualities that make a successful startup.

Scout, Kenyon College ’20

In a few short weeks, I’ve gone from a mathematics major to a businesswoman. At the end of my second week as an OIF intern, I attended a board meeting at Aware with OIF’s Managing Director Bill Baumel. Up to this point, I had had only very basic knowledge of due diligence and term sheets. I experienced how a board meeting is conducted, observed C-level interaction and absorbed the vernacular. After the meeting, Bill showed me around the Aware office and gave me the backstory of the company, as well as his view of the tech sector’s growth in Ohio. Now that I am further into my internship, I have a better understanding of the information that was discussed in that board meeting and even use some of the terminology in my day-to-day work activities.

I have also attended Techstars Startup Week and listened to influential speakers in the startup field at other events and meetings. I’m inspired by being involved with people who are making differences in our world through technology, and overall, I enjoy learning about the innovative companies and ideas that I am exposed to while working with OIF.

Jake Jagielski, Kent State University ’19

I’ve attended several meetings while at OIF, including an audit meeting at Aware, a pitch competition presented by an accelerated class of MBA students at Ohio University and a medical technology startup week in Dayton. Each event was much different from the other, but as I find that as I attend different events, I become more well-rounded in venture capital. At all of these events, I’ve networked with VC professionals and retained what they’ve taught me, which has helped me progress in this internship at OIF.

Austin, Ohio University ’20

Through my internship with OIF, I met with the Aware sales team to talk about their experiences and to get advice on how to progress sales for a startup company. The team was generous enough to meet with me for two hours, sharing some of their stories, strategies and lessons learned. Speaking with successful members of the start up community was an invaluable experience for me. The Aware team was even kind enough to invite me back to sit on a sales call to gain real world experience in the field. I cannot thank Aware and OIF enough for the great experience.

Long Tran, Ohio State University ’22

I attended an investor meeting at Enable Injections, and it was the first time I listened to a company present on their progress and expectations for the future. The company truly valued their investors and strived to impress them with their performance. What I thought was a great idea was their choice to give conservative forecasts and proceed to beat them, rather than being too ambitious and promising what they potentially would not be able to deliver. The team was very knowledgeable and able to answer all questions from investors thoroughly and efficiently. They presented a solid plan for future growth, and I’m excited to see where they will go next.