Meet Anant Akash - a startup aficionado working on a platform called Intern.Community, which connects interns who are spending their summers in a new city
What gave you the 'startup bug'?
I had my first internship freshman summer at Duo Security which recently became the first unicorn in Michigan. I was employee #114. I absolutely loved the experience of working there. The combination of responsibility and independence was great, not to mention the founders who would just work from empty desks and were so passionate about what they were trying to build. Hearing how and why they started the company convinced me that I'd rather spend 12-14 hours a day building something that I actually cared about instead of going the 'safe' engineer route. Since then, I'm always trying to find interesting companies but more than that, interesting people who take the path less taken and help them out in any way that I can.
Tell us about Intern.Community.
Intern.community sprang from the idea the summer is an incredible time as a student. You are interning somewhere, possibly in a new city. You have spent the whole year taking classes and recruiting. The summer is the time to reap the benefits of all that work. A lot of it is also based on my own personal experience. I landed at SFO not knowing anyone in the Bay Area. But at the end of it, I had met so many incredible people, from other interns to artists to venture capitalists that I could not wait for the next summer. But more than that, I wanted to enable other interns to have experiences similar to mine and for them to leave work and instantly have a litany of things to do. They can meet interns from other companies and other schools. They can go to concerts and music festivals with erstwhile strangers. NYC, San Francisco and Seattle are all amazing cities with a lot to offer but they can be daunting to newcomers and having an instant community around you is an amazing feeling.
What's next for you?
I'm spending the summer working on intern.community and assembling the right team of people who would help us both grow as well as provide more and more value to our existing community. Apart from that, I will spend most of my time trying to meet a lot of people and exploring as much of the Bay Area as possible :)