Batten Venture Internship Program

  • For students interested in entrepreneurship but not already committed to launching their own venture, Darden offers the Batten Venture Internship Program (BVIP).

    This program provides Darden students the opportunity to pursue summer internships with venture capital (VC) firms and their portfolio companies. Students gain the experience of working for a VC firm or start-up and companies benefit from having access to talented Darden MBA students for the summer.

    To promote and support student involvement with these firms, the Batten Endowment provides a matching stipend to supplement a student’s summer salary.


    Last Day for BVIP Offers: TBA April 2017

    BVIP Company Brochure (PDF)

    BVIP Student Guidelines (PDF)

    Student Guidelines

    Students are asked to commit to the following:

    • Work from approximately 1 June–8 August. Vacations during this period may be negotiated with the company, with the ending or beginning date extended appropriately. 
    • Perform any reasonable activity assigned by the company, recognizing that the company should make every effort to fully utilize the professional skills and graduate school experience that each student brings to the assignment. 
    • Participate (with the company’s acceptance and support) in joint activities designed to support the educational process by facilitating the sharing of experiences.
    Program Slots

    Our program plans to support approximately 30 slots, expecting roughly a 50/50 mix of VC versus portfolio company slots. The slot is NOT committed until the student commits to accepting the offer from a qualifying company.

    Student-Initiated Positions

    Through their own networking, students may initiate their own BVIP opportunity. It should be with a VC, VC-backed or angel-funded portfolio company. Simply follow the company guidelines information and try to structure a meaningful internship along these lines. Each case will be evaluated on its merit, but we have always supported this type of proactive student effort. (Contact Jack Oakes in the Career Development Center (CDC) Office if you plan to go this route.) Our total slots are limited, so apply early.

    With your resume we recommend a one-page cover letter submission that includes:
    • Your passion for the world of entrepreneurship/venture capital
    • Your experience and skills that relate to the world of entrepreneurship, venture capital and private equity
    • Your understanding of — and experience in — the space/context in which the company operates or will operate
    • Address your flexibility, your business analysis strengths, business development strengths, etc.
    • Answer the question: Why should this company hire you for this opportunity? 
    You should submit your resume and cover letter through the CDC system as soon as the posting first appears. Resumes and cover letters will be sent to the companies each week.

    If you have questions, contact:

    Reid Thompson (Assistant Director, Career Education and Advising)
    MJ Toms (Director, Education & Experiential Learning, Batten Institute)

    Typical BVIP Projects

    Competitive Assessment

    Conduct value chain analysis for an industry/market. Conduct financial analysis of competitors, partners and potential candidates. Research plans to combat competitors or create partnerships to strengthen the value chain.

    Brand/Product Strategy

    Develop short and/or long term strategy for a brand in the marketplace. Analyze customer trends and identify key issues facing current and future business. Formulate an annual marketing plan. Generate ideas for product improvement and product mix strategies. Evaluate partnership opportunities.

    Operational Analysis

    Review existing operational structures, functional overlap and integration, best practices. Provide recommendations for improving and streamlining operational processes and systems.

    Planning and Analysis Development

    Perform project analyses and investment assessments to support growth activities. Conduct industry research, best practices, internal and external financial analysis and decision analysis.

    Market Strategy

    Analyze market trends, needs and structure. Identify emerging opportunities and/or underserved markets.

    Management Function Analysis

    Evaluate existing systems and processes in support of both system and management structures. Provide recommendations for improving processes and systems to enhance management functions.

    Finance Function Analysis

    Evaluate existing financial models, reporting and packages. Provide recommendations for redesigning models, tools, processes and systems. Work with investors and management to create enhanced reporting strategies to support both internal and external strategic goals.

    Business Plan Preparation and Review

    Create templates and assist company management in writing executive summary, full business plans and appendices; develop marketing materials to send to prospective investors, develop targets of opportunity.