Summer 2020 Intern Highlight – Alok Bhatt


April 17,2020- I received the opportunity to work as a part of the core team at the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI). And thus, began my work as the Summer Fellowship Program Management Intern– handling program management and delivery of the Summer Fellowship program featuring top ten startups selected for the 2020 cohort!   

Working closely with Jennifer (Director, CCEI) and Michelle (Lead instructor, CCEI), my role incorporates planning and operational activities ranging across handling the mentors’ engagement with our startups, compiling/ citing suitable learning resources for startups, facilitating the weekly Founder’s breakfast (informal virtual chat sessions with the startup founders/ CEOs), reviewing/ analyzing program surveys, to ensuring smooth delivery of the events and daily sessions throughout the program. I am also very grateful to Chereace and Michaela who- with their experience- have been immensely helpful in my journey with CCEI.  

Working in close coordination with startup experts in Hartford (and beyond), the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation is everything for us at the CCEI! I started consulting for startups and small businesses during my semester itself as a part of the Experiential Learning Collaborative and in my role as the Vice President of the UConn Graduate Consulting (UGC) Club. But my experience this summer with CCEI ties it all together. I am thrilled to support these new ventures bring in new products, services, and technologies to revamp the future- our future! Beyond learning from the enriching experiences of mentors about the key ingredients to create a successful venture, holding office hours and consulting for the startups regarding strategy planning and their specific projects/ issues, I have the opportunity to reach out to and get in touch with experts across a variety of domains and bring them to the common platform of CCEI. On a much more operational level, one of the most challenging and interesting experiences thus far has been how to quickly adapt and convert the program (that too a startup accelerator!) to a fully online deliverable format in a few weeks’ time.  

And, we are barely mid-way into it! Looking forward to an exciting and eventful summer.