Jasmine Kriston W’15, interned at Curalate in Philadelphia, PA

Curalate logo2013-2014 Dr. William Zucker Entrepreneurial Intern Fellow

Last fall I set the goal of finding a start-up to work for during Summer 2013. During the summer prior I had experienced working for a large company, AT&T. I ended sophomore year wanting to get a taste of what working in a company of less than 20 people would feel like.

I began my start-up search by making a list of some of the companies and industries I was most interested in. I was particularly fascinated by Pinterest’s success. Pinterest, the third leading social network, recently changed the experience of social networking from primarily text to images. Following Pinterest’s lead, several retail brands have adopted similar visual and interactive user experiences for their websites.

Before reaching out to any of the companies on my list, I created a video using Pinterest as a platform to tell my story. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at4IVx-EWXA&feature=player_embedded#t=2) I finished my video before I attended the Penn career services’ start-up fair. At the fair I spoke with several start-ups. I also met Curalate’s co-founder and CTO, Nick Shiftan. Curalate, a First Round backed company, does analytics for the visual web: platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. At the fair, Nick was wearing a shirt, which said, “I’m huge on Pinterest-with Curalate.” We immediately started talking about our similar interest in Pinterest and other visual social media platforms.

A few weeks later my video was in the hands of Curalate’s marketing team. I received an email from Curalate’s CEO, Apu Gupta, inviting me to their office.

Before we met, I spent hours researching Curalate and talking with several people in the start-up field who knew members of the Curalate team. I found that Curalate was well known for using their own analytics to create infographics, which displayed tons of interesting data in a fun, visual, and creative way.

I spent the night before my meeting with Curalate’s CEO making an inforgraphic titled “Curalate & Me” which outlined what I wanted to do for the company as a summer intern. (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/406238828857807067/)

During my interview, Apu said it was refreshing that I had taken the time to outline what I wanted to do at Curalate: Rather than burdening the start-up with having to find a role for me. My interview lasted for hours; I spoke with more three team members to see how I was cultural fit.

I remember leaving the office and feeling really excited to have found a team of nerds who were just as interested in images and Pinterest as I was. A week later I received an offer to be a summer intern for the company and accepted.

I spent the summer working with Curalate, as a sales and marketing intern. I watched the company grow from 13 employees to 25. I was also part of their big move from working in First Round Capital’s Philadelphia office to leasing their own space in center city. The Curalate team is one of the most fun and smart groups of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They’ve made it easy for me to decide that I will definitely want to pursue a start-up again this summer and after graduation. I feel privileged to be able to say I was part of the Curalate team for a summer.