Internships: Amoo Venture Capital
Our Internship initiative aims to connect some of the best graduate and student talent with the UK’s most ambitious SMEs. Find out how advice and consultancy firm Amoo Venture Capital has benefited from accessing young entrepreneurial talent.
As appealing as big blue chip companies are, many students and graduates seek to work for smaller entrepreneurial businesses. It is SMEs like these that offer them the opportunity to make a greater impact and establish a firmer grip on their career ladder. And for companies seeking to access bright young talent, Santander’s Internship initiative can help make the connection. A fruitful internship not only boosts the prospects of the Intern but also brings fresh thinking to the company table, as one UK firm has already discovered.
Founded by MD Nzube Ufodike, Amoo Venture Capital Advisory provides advice and consultancy services to (mainly) technology businesses in need of growth capital. Its role is to help clients make the preparations they need to attract equity investment while also helping to source investors. Since 2010 the company has taken on interns every summer, with each successful applicant coming on board for a period of three months.
Nzube was already an advocate of the internship principle well before he began to access Interns through the Breakthrough programme’s partner Enternships.com. “I was an intern when I was at university and it was very valuable,” he says.
Amoo currently has eight full time members of staff on its books and Nzube saw internships as a means of bringing in people who could bolster the existing team. “I saw that we had a need for support,” he says. “We didn’t need people at a high level, but there was requirement for people who could contribute at a medium or low level within the business.”
Having identified that requirement, Nzube and Amoo have used Enternships.com as a means of sourcing candidates with exactly the right blend of qualities. “We are looking for people who are entrepreneurial and who have an interest both in finance and technology,” he says. Although the interns are seen as sources of support they are nonetheless given real and important work within Amoo. For instance, Nzube cites the example of one undergraduate who spent part of his placement in Estonia helping a client with pre-venture capital fundraising.
Nzube takes a structured approach to ensuring that Amoo’s interns gain real experience. “When they start we give them targets for the 12 weeks they’ll be with us and we have a progress meeting every week,” he says. “That does eat up management time but I get a lot of satisfaction from mentoring.”
And the business can draw genuine benefits from the presence of interns. “They do have ideas, and because we take on people with an interest in technology they can often point us in the direction of opportunities and potential clients,” says Nzube. “We encourage them to be proactive in tapping us into their networks.” Nzube tries to stay in touch after the interns have moved on, so that access to a wider network of people is ongoing.
Looking to the future, Nzube plans to continue taking on interns but with a shift in focus. “Next time we’ll be looking for people studying for MBAs, as I think that more highly qualified interns will be even more beneficial to the business, as we’ll be able to tap into the networks of people with more experience,” he says. For Amoo Venture Capital, internships are clearly a win-win situation – genuine experience for the interns and an opportunity for the company to access skills and broaden its own network of contacts.
To find out more about our Internship initiative please visit the website.