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HomeNewsBusiness WireAnn Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund Launches Collective Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Internship Program

Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund Launches Collective Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Internship Program

A2EF, through collaboration with 14 high-growth startup companies and venture capital firms, today announced a new internship program that will provide underrepresented college students with the opportunity to gain paid work experience within the local startup industry

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund (A2EF), an initiative of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, announced the launch of their upcoming Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Internship Program, inviting eligible college students to apply for the opportunity to work at one of the region’s leading tech startups or venture capital firms.

“We are thrilled to sponsor an internship with the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Internship program,” comments Jason Harper, Co-founder and CEO of RXA, an AI powered growth marketing agency. “RXA’s core values strongly align with A2EF as we are passionate about supporting and cultivating diverse talent in business at the collegiate level. We’re excited to help equip a student with the knowledge, skills, and experience to prepare him or her for an exciting tech career in applied artificial intelligence.”

“Our announcement today is the culmination of the collective action of local colleges, community organizations and numerous tech company and VC leaders across Washtenaw County,” explains Trista Van Tine, A2EF Director. “We started building this program in May, as a collaborative response to the racial injustice that was happening across the country and our amazing local entrepreneurial community quickly rallied to offer opportunities that we hope play a role in creating a more equitable future for the next generation of leaders.”

Participating Companies Include:

There will be at least 14 paid, remote-based internships available. Applications to apply to the program are now open at

The program welcomes college students to apply who meet the following criteria:

  • Open to individuals of color, individuals from underrepresented groups, or PELL GRANT eligible students
  • Students must be 18 years old by the start of internship employment (February 1, 2021)
  • Currently enrolled and in good standing with a Washtenaw County or surrounding area college/university
  • Reside in Washtenaw County or the surrounding area
  • Commitment to showing up for work and participating in peer groups and mentorship through the full duration of the program (2-6 months)
  • Provide 1 letter of recommendation
  • Answer the question “Why are you interested in working for a startup company or venture capital investment firm? What do you hope to achieve by participating in this internship program?” (no more than 300 words)

“Sight Machine is excited to be a participant in the A2EF DE&I Program. We strongly believe it will help us strengthen our own organization and promote a more inclusive tech culture in Ann Arbor,” explained Nate Oostendorp, co-founder and CTO of Sight Machine, a software company that drives innovation and efficiency in the manufacturing industry.

Following application reviews, select students will be invited to participate in the Program’s One-Day Virtual Startup Tour in January, after which time, candidates will be able to interview with participating companies. Internship offers to chosen candidates will take place in February.

Additional Program Support Opportunities for Students offered an Internship:

  • Essentials/Softskills Training
  • Professional Mentorship
  • Peer/Cohort Sharing Opportunities
  • DE&I Program Support

Resources for Participating Companies:

  • Full Programmatic Support
  • DE&I Training and Consultation
  • Co-working space available to interns to work remotely, together

For more information about the program, or to apply, visit:

The A2EF DE&I Internship Program is proudly sponsored by Washtenaw Community College (WCC). Dr. Kimberly Hurns, WCC Vice President of Instruction states, “WCC and the Entrepreneurship Center are proud to sponsor the new DEI Initiative through the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund, to help prepare students for work in the technology industry and open doors to careers, entrepreneurial endeavors and access to the industry as a whole.”

Collaborating on the program by providing participating companies with DE&I training, consultation and support, is Strategic Community Partners (SCP), a national firm that works with organizations that advance equity with and for communities. For more information about SCP, please visit:

Additional support of the program has been provided by Cahoots, Ann Arbor’s downtown tech coworking hub. For more information about Cahoots, visit:

The Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund is a network of entrepreneurs and investors in Washtenaw County who have made a commitment of 1% of company equity, investment carry or annual profits back to the community. As an initiative led from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, it provides a platform for founder engagement and support in achieving success with their ventures and a simple mechanism for young companies to build a culture of giving back into their business, making it easy for them to support their community. Launched in 2019, A2EF has 22 pledged members.

To learn about the unique opportunities available to entrepreneurs through the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund and how to become a member, please visit

About the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund (A2EF) was founded in 2019 to foster startup and community growth in Washtenaw County. A2EF serves as a platform for founder-to-founder peer exchange by offering unique programming opportunities that aid entrepreneurs in building their ventures while connecting them more closely with their community. The platform for A2EF is the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, a local nonprofit that stewards over $150 million in charitable assets, grants millions of dollars every year to Washtenaw County nonprofits, and can help interested entrepreneurs become effective community changemakers.

About Washtenaw Community College

Since opening in 1966, WCC has grown into one of the nation’s premier community colleges with an annual enrollment of more than 18,000 students in credit classes each year, and thousands more in Economic and College Development classes. Our diverse student body includes more than 1,000 students from 100+ foreign countries. Our 285-acre campus and strategically located extension centers, operating resources, technology-enabled facilities, and instructional quality are the envy of post-secondary education institutions near and far.


Trista Van Tine, A2EF Director


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