During the summer after university I decided to focus my applications within the startup ecosystem, incubators in particular. Intuiting that the upsides of a networking-friendly environment would outweigh the downsides of living in London income free. I wasn’t wrong. However, I didn’t foresee just how well I would settle into an environment like the one at Launch22 (Launch).
Before Launch I didn’t think I had ‘a thing’ which I was deeply interested in. Convention says being interested is the feeling of wanting to know or learn about something or someone. Whether it be music, sport or a social cause, people always have ‘their thing’. Yet, for a while anyway, I didn’t think I did.
Well that’s not entirely true. I’ve always had, as I see it, an almost compulsive disorder to identify with everything from the perceptive of the entrepreneur, at awe with how the laws of economics and business define the way we live. I get carried away with sharing business ideas, concepts and case studies and the only books I’ve ever been able to finish were business related. Its clear as day now that this is ‘my thing’ but until Launch it never struck me.
Launch22 was a place where I could nerd out with like-minded people. Which helped me appreciate that entrepreneurship really was ‘my thing’.
So this is a brief story of my internship at launch22.
Day one. After the notorious grand tour of the new space, I got the impression the team was immensely proud of their architectural and handyman achievements, and rightly so I might add. Yet inopportunely I missed the move and renovations, and thus it was my turn to be the Mr Fix-it and it would be for the remainder of my time at launch22 as the team were a bit fed up of playing builders.
Hey, at least I can say I have left my mark at Launch22, even if that is just a mounted bicycle, a kitchenette counter, the pin board, a coffee table, a foosball table and the projector, I could go on… but we’re on a word limit here.
After the grand tour, I was ushered to have a look at what would be my core responsibility over the three months, marketing communications. Championing the use of Mailchimp, Buffer, Google Analytics, Adwords and Linkedin (the list could go on) occupied most of my first month. It was a case of learning what worked best for Launch22 in their new location and new direction. Sounds a little tedious right? Yet, it was the community of businesses around me and the nature of working in a startup which kept no two days the same. The shared learning via the projects the team, members and myself were working on really opened my eyes to the real sense of the word ‘incubation’ and its effect on innovation.
One project which felt like the whole of Launch was working on was the design sprint. Having never had the chance of completing a design sprint I was a little sceptical of its effectiveness in solving a problem within a company. I like to think I was proven wrong by this as it created a bunch of really creative improvements to increase the conversion rate of pre-sales signups. Although, some admittedly were a little too creative — cardboard cut-outs of our coolest mentor, Tim.
I mean come to think of it, WE NEED THIS.
Coming back from Christmas there was a different ambience in the building. The team had a fresh energy to help make the space come alive again, just like the good old [street] days. Taking full advantage of the startup culture I expanded my role, taking on business development, cash flow and helping with the incubation program. Subsequently, I lost focus on my core responsibilities and I was to blame for the diminishing ad analytics.
With no time to waste I renewed my love for Buffer as Fede, our community manager, and I scheduled a rehabilitated digital marketing scope. The analytics were back up, there were heaps of new faces in the office and we were back to hitting out targets and more. Striding into a revitalised Launch filled the team with a combined sense of triumph.
Over this process I had learnt what made working in a startup so great. Not only during my role was Launch growing through a transition period, gearing up to gain a wider impact within the startup ecosystem, I was too. Being able to talk to the mentors, the members and Launch22’s wider network I was able to gain a tonne of insight, motivation and a solid foundation for the next step in my professional development. So, despite not being remunerated I have come away richer than I was when I started and in a position to be excited about the future.
Thank you Launch!
Apply now for a role at Launch22 here: http://workinstartups.com/companyjobs/view/id/47610