The Batten Venture Internship Program (BVIP) subsidizes summer internships for students interested in working at a venture capital, start-up, or small-scale business organization located in Charlottesville or the Mid-Atlantic Region. The program was established to create a unique opportunity for Darden students to pursue summer internships with venture capital firms and their portfolio companies. Companies benefit from having access to MBA talent for the summer, and Darden students have an opportunity to experience the venture capital or small-scale side of entrepreneurship first-hand.
Though resources are understandably tight for many start-up firms, all BVIP participating firms are required to pay a student a minimum of $3,000 for the summer—an amount which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Batten Institute (for a minimum summer salary of $6,000 for the student). Participating companies are also encouraged to consider performance bonuses and to take into account local housing costs when setting a student’s salary.
Develop Your Own BVIP Experience
Though many companies will contact Darden with specific internship positions, students are permitted to initiate their own BVIP opportunity through outside networking. Darden requires that the student-developed opportunity be with a VC or VC-backed portfolio company. Students must follow the company guidelines and structure a meaningful internship. Though each proposal will be evaluated on its merit as to whether or not it is worthy of BVIP matching funding for the summer, Darden has historically viewed such proposals in a positive light. Please contact CDC Counselor Fred Drake if you are interested in this route.
What Commitment is Necessary from the Student?
Students are expected to:
- Work from approximately June to August 8. Vacations during the internship may be negotiated with the company, with the ending date extended as necessary.
- 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.
How Many BVIP Internships are Available?
During the summer of 2006, 13 BVIP internship slots were available, with an approximate 50/50 mix of VC versus portfolio companies.
What is the General Timeline for Applying for BVIP Internships?
The CDC will host informational sessions in late 2006 for interested students. Participating companies will submit internships proposals during January and February of 2007. Interviews will most likely commence mid-February and continue through the end of March, though companies may end their interview process at any time once they have found a suitable candidate for the position. Once a participating company makes an offer, a student has a maximum of two weeks to accept or decline the offer.
Interested students are encouraged to attend the 2009 Venture Capital Bootcamp on January 8-10.
Recommended Job Tasks
Below are some of the recommended job tasks for companies interested in developing a BVIP internship opportunity. (Please note that this is not a definitive list of BVIP internship descriptions.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is your company interested in developing a BVIP internship? Please contact the EVC President for more information.