What Employers Have to Say About ELAB:
“If all ELAB interns are as motivated, fun and talented, send ‘em over.”
“Only disappointment was that we didn’t have him long enough.”
“The students brought a fresh perspective to the problem and identified areas where we need to improve ourselves. I am hopeful that the work product will continue in common use”
Description & Benefits
The ELAB is a one semester course that combines classroom sessions focused on practical entrepreneurial management issues with an internship in a high growth private enterprise. Students will spend on average one day per week over a 10 week period at the sponsoring company. Companies must be located in the San Francisco Bay Area and be in the early stages of a high growth potential business.
Students enrolled in the E-Lab come from a variety of educational and work backgrounds and have been selected based on criteria including academic performance, work experience and career goals. In order to make the program most valuable to students and employers, we require each student to be assigned a senior level mentor within the start-up to check progress and goals.
Students are highly motivated and very interested in gaining experience in a start-up work environment. While menial tasks are often part of life in a start-up, the goal is to provide meaningful work and a mutually beneficial relationship between the student, company, and SJSU.
There is no fee for employers to participate in the program and no requirement to compensate the students, although that is at the company’s discretion. However, we are asking employers happy with their experience in the program to make a donation to San Jose State University to provide support to continue the program.
What is the deadline to sign up for the program?
The deadline for the current semester is February 2nd, 2024. Earlier
How do I sign up for the program?
Complete the online application.
If we sign up, are we guaranteed an intern?
No. We will do our best to match the students with interested companies,
but there is no guarantee that there will be students available for each
opportunity. In addition, students and companies will both be able to
interview each other to make sure there is a good match with expectations,
experience and interests.
What other expectations are there for companies that participate?
The primary expectations are to provide a meaningful work experience and
mentoring relationship. We require that the mentor be a company founder or
on the executive team (VP level or above). You may have another team
member directly supervise the intern, but the mentor needs at a minimum to
meet with the student periodically
Can I meet with the entire group of students?
Yes. We invite all companies to introduce their business to the class and
discuss internship opportunities. We view this as a great way to expose
students to a variety of high growth ventures. We will be holding
Entrepreneur/Intern meet and greets at these sessions. This will take place
in the evening on either Jan 31st and Feb 7th and is optional, but highly
recommended. Remote participation is possible if you can't make it in person.
Does San Jose State provide any compensation to the students?
No. The students earn course credit and valuable work experience. Some
of the students have been hired after the end of the course as paid interns or
for full time roles.
Our HR Manager advised us that we can’t hire unpaid interns?
While it is true that many labor attorneys have taken this position, we have
been advised that this course meets the stringent requirements for an
unpaid internship. The National Association of Colleges and Employers
recently came out with a position paper Fact sheet from US Department of Labor on Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act is accessible here
How many students are in the program?
This is a highly competitive course and is capped at 15 students. There is
an application and interview process to ensure all participants are qualified.
Is there a specific day or time that the intern works?
No, this is to be arranged between company and intern. However, 80 hours
need to be completed prior to the end of the semester. Due to academic
and other commitments, some students are only able to work the minimum,
while others may chose to work more.
May I hire a student?
Yes, at the conclusion of the semester. Many of the students will be
graduating seniors and seeking full time employment, while others will be
continuing their studies and may be available for part-time work.
Where can I learn more about the program?
Contact Steve Bennet at 650-469-3590 or steven dot bennet at sjsu dot edu.
Interested companies should complete the online form
Past and Current Sponsor Companies