An online virtual internship, supported by the NSW Government, has been established to support the local startup ecosystem.

The Virtual Startup Internship Program gives under-graduates, graduates and those looking for a change from a corporate career an opportunity to build experience and skills of what it’s like to work in a startup.

The internship is online, free and accessible to anyone in Australia, and across the globe, with internet access.

The program has been created by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship and the Sydney Startup Hub, in collaboration with NSW-based edtech innovator InsideSherpa, who graduated from Silicon Valley accelerator – Y Combinator.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the program – which has been trialed in beta mode – has already attracted more than one thousand students from NSW, across Australia and around the world.

“Hundreds of people across NSW have already dived into the Virtual Startup Internship Program to get a taste of startup life,” Ayres said.

He said worldwide people who are interested in learning about working in a startup are enrolling in this program driven by the Sydney Startup Hub.

“The Virtual Startup Internship Program fits perfectly with the Sydney Startup Hub’s goal of supporting the NSW startup ecosystem. This program is opening doors and insights into what might, for many budding professionals, be the otherwise unknown or daunting startup ecosystem.”

The virtual internship allows users to complete real-world tasks and learn practical skills from three innovative NSW startups: Vennu (an innovative venue booking platform based in regional NSW); Homecare Heroes (a social startup disrupting the aged and disability care industry); and Longtail UX (which automates search engine marketing and optimisation).

Jonathan Jones, Education and Training Director at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship said student tasks are based around non-technical skills such as product management, social media marketing and sales for international expansion.

“The goal of the program is to help boost the pipeline of talent considering a career working with, or starting their own startup,” Jones said.

“At the end of the course students will be encouraged to explore jobs and internships at startups.”

Anthony Herring, Head of Customer Success at Inside Sherpa, who developed the technology behind the program, said the program is really about giving every student a chance to develop their practical skills and to immerse themselves in the world of startups.

“It’s fantastic to work with Sydney Startup Hub and the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship who have embraced this bold and innovative model of open-access education,” Herring said.

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