Top 5 Benefits of Interning at Start Co.


As I’m nearing the end of my time as an undergraduate I am reminded of a scene from Good Will Hunting. It’s the scene at the bar where Will shares his opinion on higher education to an arrogant grad student. Will tells the guy he “wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library”. While my education was certainly worth more than a buck fifty, I still want to make sure it was money well spent. That’s why I reached out to Start Co. to fill in the gaps of my education before I enter the “real world”. Here are my top 5 reasons for interning at Start Co:

1) Start Co. Atmosphere

I find there to be nothing more inspiring and empowering than witnessing ideas turn into realities and solving problems that have the power to shape the future of humanity. It has been motivating to be a part of the co-working space of the Start Co. Lab and seeing the sense of purpose that drives entrepreneurs.

2) Memphis Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

When people think of Memphis, they generally think of BBQ and Elvis before they think of entrepreneurship. However, there are several entrepreneurial success stories which call Memphis home (FedEx, AutoZone, and Holiday Inn etc.). Through the Start Co. Lab and the MEMx fund, Start Co. is equipping not just startup businesses, but Memphians with the entrepreneurial skills to solve real problems in our community: unemployment, poverty, and the social divide to name a few.

3) Hands-on Learning

I have been given the opportunity to take charge of projects that I want to work on. For example, I helped launch the first ever Business Plan Competition at Rhodes College. Through this project I have improved my event planning, marketing, communication and leadership skills. In addition to this major project, I have assisted with the management of the Start Co. social media outlets, content creation for the blog, and staying up to date with startup news.

4) Mentorship

In addition to working on the business plan competition, one of the most fun and enriching experiences has been sitting in on the ad-hoc mentorship meetings between Start Co. mentors and budding entrepreneurs. There is no better way to experience the power of entrepreneurship than by witnessing it in action. Through these meetings I have witnessed the transition from concepts to working business models.

5) Preparing for the Real World

I have been able to go behind the scenes and improve my entrepreneurial skill set alongside entrepreneurs who are solving real problems. I have seen the critical four D’s of building a business in action 1) Developing your flexibility as a founder, 2) Discovering your customer base, 3) exploring product Delivery methods and 4) maximizing Dollars received.

Now when I enter the “real world” in May and eventually start my own business, I’ll be ready.

To apply for a Summer, Fall, or Spring internship at Start Co., send your resume and cover letter to

Joe Barlia is a Senior at Rhodes College. Contact him at