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The first cohort of Students2Startups companies and interns spoke highly of their experiences so far.

“It has been amazing,” said Dannielle Boozer, the Director of Marketing at Rented. “Working with Noelle and the team has been great.”

Participants gathered together on Wednesday, July 11 at the SalesLoft offices in Midtown to learn about Atlanta’s startup ecosystem from Aly Merritt, Chief of Staff at Sales Loft, Holly Beilin Editor-in-Chief at Hypepotamus, and Noelle London, Assistant Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Invest Atlanta.

The lunch and learn was part of the larger Students2Startups initiative, a joint effort by Invest Atlanta and Worksource Atlanta to develop a tech talent pipeline by subsidizing Atlanta-based students to complete entrepreneurial-focused internships with Atlanta startups. The program also to supports growing startups with funding for some of their immediate tech talent needs.

Jasmine Crowe is the CEO and Founder of Goodr, a sustainable surplus food management company that uses technology to combat hunger and food waste. The company has diverted nearly 1 million pounds of food waste from our landfills to those suffering from hunger and food insecurity.

Crowe spoke highly of intern Zebedee “Zeb” McLaurin, who is currently studying at Morehouse College, and the great work he’s been doing this summer.

“I think Zeb is really amazing,” she said. “I enjoy having him because he’s assisting me in a multitude of areas, as we’re letting him explore what position would be right for him. That’s how you get the best out of people—let them try things and do what they enjoy instead of giving them tasks that they may not like.”

“Anything that needs to be done, Jasmine and our COO, they give it to me and I’m like, ‘I got it,’” said McLaurin.  “Once I met Jasmine, I knew I had to somehow get involved in this somehow, some way. And then, Invest Atlanta and WorkSource Atlanta with Students2Startups, that was it. That was the door to where I was destined to be. So I just followed through.”

Dannielle Boozer’s company, Rented.com, is an Atlanta startup that connects vacation rental home owners with professional property owners, and offers the owners the convenience of a fixed, guaranteed monthly rental income.

Through Students2Startups, Georgia State University student Kendall Glynn landed an internship as their marketing intern, enabling him to gain first-hand, paid work experience at a startup.

“Working for a startup is a hustle, and you have so many things to do on a day-to-day basis, there’s really not a lot of time for anything extra,” said Boozer. “Having [Invest Atlanta] come in and vet some of the applications that were coming through from the interns and spread the word, and then connect us with the students they thought would be particularly good in the areas we needed help in—that was great.”

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