and interns

I invested in Loverly in November 2011.  It has grown from a one woman shop and a developer to a significant business.  Kellee is driven, smart and passionate about the business she has grown.  I have always been impressed by her ability to plow ahead at any turn while gathering a group of smart saavy investors, advisors and employees.

She was on MSNBC this past Sunday.  It is a great piece.  I love that she has built a paid internship program for the company.  I am a big believer in paying interns too.  The value of paying someone for their work is a win win for everyone.  Harder working interns who care about the company in a very different way because they get a paycheck.  After all, free is free.  Just like investors like to see entrepreneurs put some of their own skin in the game is no different than paying someone.  Loyalty is much stronger when you get paid for your work.

Bravo to Kellee for another smart move as she continues to build Loverly.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Know of any resource to find interns, paid or not?

    1. Gotham Gal

      i don’t and i wish i did.

      1. awaldstein

        I’m with you that paid is the way to go btw.Everyone can afford something. And value deserves to be paid for in some way.

        1. John Fazzolari

          The best way to find interns is the best way to find any employee- always be recruiting. In my short career I’ve already seen multiple instances where people hire employees or interns too quickly. Hire the wrong person and you will feel pain quickly. Joanne- what do you recommend offering interns at an early stage startup where both founders take no salary and the business is close to becoming cash flow positive?

          1. Gotham Gal

            I’d either pay them on an hourly basis or decide on an amount that you want to pay them for the entire length of the job. If it is a summer internship that runs from mid-June thru mid-August more than likely the company knows exactly what they want to spend so share that number with the intern.

          2. John Fazzolari

            Gotcha- transparency always seems to work best.

          3. Gotham Gal

            one of my favorite words.

          4. Nathan Parcells

            Hey Gotham Gal. I’m a big fan of your writing and the work you do regularly to promote women entrepreneurs and tech leaders.I am one of the founders of InternMatch and we currently work with thousands of startups and big tech companies (including FB, Yahoo, Yelp, and more) to find interns. I speak at a lot of accelerators on how to find interns and helping people navigate this process is one of my favorite things to do. I just wanted to share a few thoughts:1. Do everything Kellee at Loverly said! She is ridiculously far ahead of the curve on this process. Paid internships yield more and better candidates (2.9 times an unpaid role on InternMatch) and result in higher performance and more conversions to full-time hires. Exceptional talent is particularly important at a startup.2. Include a what you will learn section on your internship postings. Mentorship and learning is the #1 thing students look for in a role and this perk can far exceed pay. We have had a number of engineering interns turn down $37/hour roles at top companies to work at our startup because we have outlined cool projects for them to work on and dedicated mentors for them.3. Make sure you have a dedicated mentor for students who take at least an hour/week to entirely focus on training and educating each intern. This includes sharing high level goals of the company and unique insights on how to execute in a work place.4. In terms of the “Always Be Recruiting” debate above, the strategic take away is you should be posting internships online a couple months before you need the hire. You should save all the candidates you felt strongly about in a Google doc or in an ATS system so you can find them again in the future. You should take Kellee’s advice and keep in touch with past interns so you can reach out to them and ask them to help recruit your future interns.Here’s a slideshare on the topic:…Here’s an article on VentureBeat on the topic:…If anyone has any further questions feel free to reach me at [email protected] or check out our

          5. Gotham Gal

            Nathan,This is great!

          6. awaldstein

            good stuff nathan.

          7. awaldstein

            Certainly….Always be recruiting is a better one liner than a strategy.

          8. John Fazzolari

            I’m too early in my career to say you’re right or wrong but my strategy is to have those first ten or twenty potential hires in my head at all times. Would hope that a few come onboard but I can easily see how that doesn’t happen.

          9. awaldstein

            There is a poise towards life and work. Critical.There’s dealing ever-present real time needs and choices.Hope is not a strategy for anything honestly.Actionable intent is everything.

          10. John Fazzolari

            Appreciate those thoughts Arnold. Already changing my perspective on things. And totally agree that actionable intent is everything.

          11. awaldstein

            I don’t mean to be brusque certainly.We all have things that drive us–one-liners, quotes, beliefs and more.They are all correct.But building companies is just hard. It takes all the inspiration in the world, the deepest networks you can muster, tools and experiences and a boatload of luck.If there are resources to help us find candidates, I say–bring them on.

    2. Anne Libby

      NYU has an internship office.

      1. awaldstein

        got a link?

      2. Gotham Gal

        Does NYU try and talk to start-ups and see what their needs are?

        1. Anne Libby

          I don’t know them first hand. My secondhand impression is good, via a couple of startups and small businesses. Good experiences with the students. I don’t know about their outreach.Another impression: they actually want their students to have the educational experience that an internship is supposed to provide. (As opposed to “free labor!” which I know is not your interest, or @awaldstein:disqus ‘s.)Here’s a link (if not the link)…just poked around on their site. Joanne, likely you have more direct avenues to connect with the right people!

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    I love that they find the best people organically through referral. I have found that is the best way to find good people as well.

  3. Scarlett Sieber

    I agree 100% with paying interns. We have learned the hard way by having both paid and non-paid interns (not by choice, 2 students were international and were not allowed to receive compensation) and there was an obvious difference in the quality of work.We go a step further with our hires and present the internship as a partnership, where we utilize their skills and we expose them to new things in return. We invest in our interns by sending them to start-up events around the city. The interns choose what events interest them the most, whether it be a side of the business they are not familiar with like investing, or events that will improve the way they do their job. We also include them in strategy meetings from time to time so that they feel like they are really part of the team and their opinions matter and because we get a fresh perspective on things we may have overlooked.

    1. Gotham Gal

      The partnership concept is smart