Wharton Entrepreneurship Advisory Board Intern Fellowship recipient
This past summer, I worked as a Business Development and Marketing Intern for Wiggio, a small start-up located in Boston focusing on group collaboration and project management for all types of people. I had spent my freshman summer working in a large hedgefund, my sophomore summer working in a congressional internship for Senator Feingold in Washington DC, and the latter half of the same summer doing economic development research at a University. My thought for interning at a start-up was to learn what it was like to work at a very small company, and be given more responsibility than I would usually get a larger firm like an investment bank or consulting firm. I found Wiggio through a friend of my older brother, who runs a company called Hungry Fish Media in Boston. Though he could not give me a position at his company, he recommended me to Dana Lampert, the CEO of Wiggio, and thus received a position.
The Wiggio office is located in a co working space with several other companies in the “Innovation District” area of Boston, which is just south of South Station. Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs working at similar start-ups proved to be a great environment, as everyone was very helpful and supportive of the other workers. I mostly interacted with Dana, the CEO, and Darryl Myers, the director of Business Development, working on a variety of tasks.
I worked on several interesting projects throughout my summer at Wiggio. In the rest of this paper, I will highlight each project and what the work taught me. To start, Wiggio is a completely free application – anyone can go to the website and begin using the application in under thirty seconds. However, this is not sustainable, and Dana asked me to research all competitors in the group collaboration space and learn how they price their premium products, and create a pricing structure for Wiggio. Wiggio’s top competitors include Basecamp, Huddle, and more targeted companies such as Surveymonkey and GroupMe. After intensive research, I learned that most companies used a “tier” system, where their customers would pay more for more access to the application. Furthermore, several companies focused on enterprise clients, or large businesses, and managed to secure a lot of customers through that route. This was a great project, took a long time, but I’m hoping my results will be used when Wiggio implements a paid version in the coming months.
My next project involved Marketing. Wiggio has never marketed their product – all their growth has come naturally and organically through people who like their product. My goal was to create and implement a Google AdWords campaign for the website, and measure website and traffic analytics during the time when the campaign was active. This project required me to create different categories for each target consumer and specific application, as well as hundreds of keywords for each category. This project was very rough at the beginning, as my keywords were not getting any hits, and the Google AdWords website interface was very complex and difficult to learn. But after a while, I learned which keywords worked and which did not, and ultimately created a successful AdWords campaign. At the end of the summer, Wiggio hired a full time marketing coordinator to take over the AdWords campaign as well as focus on new, more relevant marketing initiatives.
The last large project Dana gave me involved managing several developers and workers in India and Bangladesh. Wiggio wanted to find the e-mail addresses of all student leaders at 100-150 universities around the country, and send a blast e-mail before school starts. Because that is too many universities for me to do myself, it was more efficient to use a website called ODesk and hire workers in Asia to do this work. Thus, I had to post the job on ODesk, find workers, and manage them closely to make sure they were doing proper work. This job was interesting, because I was suddenly put in a managerial position and had to even reprimand one worker for browsing the Internet during time he charged us. This project continued on after I left, and the new Marketing coordinator took charge of it.
Overall, I loved my summer experience with Wiggio. The internship taught me many valuable lessons about running a company, managing other employees, and how to brand your product and make it unique in front of competitors. I would highly recommend any Penn student interested in start-up experience to work at Wiggio, as the team was very nice, helpful, and I still keep in touch with them.