A Virtual Dive into Early Stage Tech

This is part of series of posts by recipients of the 2020 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by William Wang, WH ’22

My experience interning at Lair East Labs this summer has been a truly fascinating and exciting opportunity. Based in New York City, Lair East Labs is an early-stage accelerator that invests in pre-seed stage businesses and helps them grow. Through their virtual internship program this summer, and with the help of Career Services funding, I was able to explore my interests in tech investing, learn from great mentors and founders, and experience what it’s like to work in early-stage investing.

At Lair East Labs, one major part of my role was researching and sourcing potential investments. This experience exposed me to dozens, if not hundreds, of early-stage startups and helped me build a framework to assess which companies might succeed and which might not. In addition, hearing input from mentors about how they analyzed investments was not only very interesting, but also helped me become a better investor myself. For certain companies, I did even deeper research, working with other interns to write detailed reports to guide investment decisions. To work on materials that directly influenced the partners’ investment decisions was very rewarding for me, and I really enjoyed digging deeper into companies and industries I never knew about.

Apart from working with potential investments, I also played a role in supporting the day-to-day operations of the firm. In addition to more straightforward tasks like managing the company website and summarizing notes from calls, I also helped organize Lair East Labs’ international pitch competition, working closely with the director of operations to set up event live streaming, produce marketing materials, and organize attendees and judges. Being on the front lines of such an event was extremely exciting, and I definitely learned a lot about the day-to-day operations of an early stage investor.

Finally, I also had the opportunity to work closely with portfolio companies. Specifically, I interned with Prinsta and its founder, Yasser Boumenir, to help build the front-end of his desktop app. Despite having little formal coding experience before, Yasser was extremely supportive and helped me quickly get up to speed with his code and his product. This was also an extremely rewarding experience, and I especially enjoyed working with an exciting product and with an exciting founder like Yasser.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience this summer with Lair East Labs. Not only did I learn a lot about early-stage investing and technology, but I also met great mentors and peers. With the help of Career Services, I was able to dedicate my time to learning at my internship, as opposed to worrying about other financial issues. I’m definitely excited to use what I have learned in my next job and beyond.

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