Saying Hello & Goodbye: Laconia's Internship Program

Saying goodbye to a family member or friend as they move forward in their life is always a bittersweet moment. It is that time of year at Laconia when we must say goodbye and thank you to our latest team of interns.

We run a paid part-time intern year-round, either for an academic semester, a full academic year, or a summer season. Our internship program has been widely successful, attracting talented students from NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Brown, UMich, and Rutgers, among others. In addition to intellectual curiosity, exceptional work ethic, and adaptable skills, they have all brought to the table a genuine passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and venture capital investing. Numerous former interns have gone on to pursue full-time opportunities at other venture capital firms and Laconia portfolio companies, with one former intern even re-joining Laconia full-time. Our interns are among the firm’s strongest ambassadors, often referring future candidates and budding entrepreneurs.

The Undervalued and Overlooked Skills I Learned Interning with the Laconia Crew

It takes serious guts to be a venture capitalist. One must be willing to take enormous risks for uncertain returns. It’s definitely not a stable, clear-cut path. Perhaps this was what drew me to entrepreneurship and venture capital. The idea that you can make it big or lose it all is unnerving but fascinating to me.

I was first introduced to Laconia Capital Group by Peter Wiener, a former manager whom I had worked with at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Laconia Capital Group’s venture capital funds focus on late seed B2B SaaS startups in the Northeastern US with monthly recurring revenues of at least $25,000. Going into the internship, I did not know what to expect. I knew that I wanted to learn more about the business and how venture capitalists evaluated startups, but that was it.

Four months later, I can say that, without a doubt, my internship at Laconia has been nothing short of a phenomenal experience. I have learned so much from Jeff, David, DLee, and Geri. I sat in on pitch meetings, portfolio company strategy calls, and partners’ meetings. I crafted market research for portfolio companies. I wrote investment memos for potential deals. I even helped source potential deals. In fact, the internship never felt like work. Rather, it was more like attending office hours with three extremely intelligent and business savvy professors and one brilliant TA.

Swimming through the Buzzwords: Our VC Summer Internship

If you ever want to make a college student cringe, usually all you have to do is ask, “Have you found a summer internship yet?” Luckily, after developing mild carpal tunnel syndrome from scrolling through our respective college career sites for countless hours, we were both given the opportunity to enter the venture capital world as summer interns at Laconia Capital Group. Just completing our sophomore years at Penn and NYU, we began our internships at Laconia unsure of what our summers had in store for us. On each of our first days, we walked into the office uncertain but excited to gain experience in an industry that would give us exposure to a variety of businesses and accomplished people. However, ten weeks later, we now find ourselves participating in office discussions with confidence and an eagerness to absorb all of the information thrown our way. As our internships come to an end, we reflect on our experiences and the invaluable lessons we have learned this summer. We’ve outlined the top five takeaways from this summer that are relevant to those working in the VC industry, as well as those thinking about their own business.