Innovation Internship Program Places 140+ Students with 30 Startups

Five years from now, when someone asks me what I remember most from March 2020, I will have two things to say. One, of course, is the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The second is the remarkable launch and early success of the Rev1 Innovation Internship Program.

The Back Story and the Bottom Line

With a grant from Ohio Third Frontier, Rev1 built out the internship program in 2019. We were  ready to invite applicants in first semester 2020 when the pandemic took hold. We transitioned to an all-virtual program, and didn’t miss a beat.

The Innovation Internship Program has  placed 144 students and recent college graduates with 30 companies. So far, eight of those interns have become full-time hires. The Innovation Internship Program is a partner-driven initiative. Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) has been in the program from the beginning.

Especially important is the diversity of our placements. More than 70 percent of these talented individuals are women and people of color. We see the momentum continuing as a fifth cohort opened August 27 for the fall. Student applications are due September 3, and hiring decision information is due from startups by September 10.


Focused and Productive Work Experiences

Innovation Internships are the farthest thing from copies and coffee. Talent-rich Central Ohio is home to more than 50 colleges and universities with 130,000 graduate and undergraduate students who are eager and capable to perform real work.

From software engineering to data analytics, to marketing strategy and social media initiatives, interns can find opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), finance, marketing, and business, delivering lasting impact to Ohio startups. Here are some recent examples:

  • 3Bar Biologics internships provided four bioengineering students with real-time experience in 3Bar’s microbe lab. Projects included researching the potential of new strains of bacteria as well as special projects for 3Bar customers.
  • At Aware, a company that has been active in the Innovation Internship Program for every cohort, a software engineering major in cyber security worked on finalizing security standards for infrastructure and products, testing, and providing technical support to information technology operations. Another finance major intern developed pricing strategy and worked on automating finance and accounting processes to reduce errors and increase efficiency.
  • AwareAbility interns researched techniques for fabricating new semi-conductor solar cells; set up protocols for testing and implementing prototypes in the company’s new lab, and researched and developed mechanical concepts design for an environmental field analyzer.
  • Engineering interns at DASI Simulations gained hands-on experience in 3D-modeling of mitral and aortic heart valves for use in simulations and learned how to use software to segment CT scans as input to patient treatment.
  • The Deep Lens intern joined the firm’s AI and deep learning team to organize data and automate clinical trial processes. He will be joining Deep Lens again in the fall as an intern, reporting to a Deep Lens manager who started with the company as an intern in a 2020.
  • ReAlpha employed seven interns in software development, marketing, and finance. The team developed a new brand strategy, participated in fund-raising projects, built a web site, and participated in platform product development.
  • At ResCon Technologies, the intern team, who were ResCon’s first hires, designed the marketing web site and digital store front, programmed software for projects with the Air Force, and programmed drone prototypes for GPS-denied environments, beating industry standards.
  • RxNXT interns helped rebuild the company web site, worked on outbound marketing strategies, and developed digital on-boarding processes. They developed cold calling scripts and processes for lead generation, and the quality assurance intern build a testing plan and model for clients that is scalable for the next few years.
  • At SenseICs, the summer intern managed funding opportunity research and tracking. She was instrumental in developing SBIR and state proposals.

All internships in our Innovation Internship Program are paid, with partial salary reimbursement for hiring companies. The program includes Rev1 support to manage the hiring and onboarding process. For students, the internship program also includes training sessions and one-on-one mentorships.

For more information and to apply to be part of the Rev1 Innovation Internship Program, visit

Learn how internships drive startup growth here.

An Ohio Case Study: Internships Key to Aware’s Talent Strategy here.

Please email Alison Lopriore with questions or suggestions.