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ETF Digest

Venture Capital Internship at ETF Partners


19 August 2021


Personal Background and History

As a child, watching The Apprentice ignited an entrepreneurial flame within me that continues to glow. From humble beginnings selling bars of Galaxy Cookie Crumble on the school playground to currently running an EdTech business, I am still enthralled by the thrill of enterprising environments.

I studied Chemistry at the University of Nottingham and greatly enjoy delving into the processes by which scientists are creating cleaner and more environmentally benign chemical processes. Outside of my academic pursuits, I am a keen Gospel singer and actress!
Thus, I was thrilled Future VC brought me the opportunity to intern at ETF Partners allowing me to combine my interest in sustainability with real experience in the start-up/scale-up ecosystem.

A typical day as a cleantech intern at ETF Partners?

No two days are alike as an intern ETF Partners! This means every day is entertaining and novel.
An example day could be:
9:30 am — Join the Monday Morning Meeting Monday (MMM).
11 am — Call with Founder offering an app to tackle the war on plastic through consumer and business incentives! Listening in on Founder calls feels like looking into a crystal ball into a refreshingly green world.
12 pm — Team lunch. From Windsor to Oxford, ETF Partners has sorted out some awesome trips. (BTW the dress code of all ladies in white trainers wasn’t planned lol!)
1:00 pm — Prepare a presentation about other VCs to show the team. ETF Partners may need co-investors for prospective deals and follow-on investors for portfolio companies’ future fundraise.
2:30 pm — Call with Limited Partner — VCs must raise investments for their funds as well!
3:30 pm — Attend a CleanTech conference. Conferences relating to AgriTech all the way to clean FashionTech.
4:30 pm — Marketing and Branding, researching Green Umbrella Companies ETF Partners can join.
5:30 pm — Masterclasses, attend Due Diligence training by Future VC.

What attracted you to work with the ETF Partners?

Simply, their vision, purpose and leadership in the sustainable investment world. ETF Partners’ long-established passion and trusted reputation attract the most innovative and climate positive companies in Europe to their portfolio.

It is admirable that the ETF Partners’ team seeks to support investments that drive both profit and positive climate impact simultaneously. ETF Partners balances these two goals by looking at investments through a prism of sustainability affording ETF Partners a unique perspective, which lead to some sensational investments that serve both to better the environment and improve our economy.
I wanted to see those companies, meet those entrepreneurs and spend time learning from the ETF Partners team. I was keen to join as an intern to see how VCs analyse which companies to invest in, and how companies utilise capital and a venture capitalist’s support to scale and make a difference in the world.

What have you done that you have enjoyed at ETF Partners?

Listening to Monday Morning Meetings, it is refreshing to hear the healthy and open discussions and sometimes even debates among team members whether that be about a company to invest in or something else there is a great non-hierarchal and transparent company culture.
I much enjoyed involvement in the Future VC CleanTech MasterClass Webinar sharing my experiences as a cleantech investor intern and information about ETF’s portfolio companies.

It was also very interesting to read about ETF Partners portfolio companies for example brands like ELeather, a British based company engineering “green” leather. Or a company called Tomorrow, a German business providing green bank accounts for consumers to protect the climate with every purchase.

What advice would you give to an intern on a VC internship?

1. Seek to understand the industry. Read newsletters, books, articles, listen to podcasts, attend conferences — anything that can help broaden your perspective of the industry. There’s a lot of jargon in the Venture Capital space so reading can help with becoming fluent in the language of the VCs.

2. Be Bold. If there is anything you would like to get involved in while on the internship — just ask. The worst someone can say is no. Set a list of highlights or learning opportunities you would like to gain from the internship and communicate these to your manager who can help you go about achieving them.

3. Network and have fun!

Takeaways and Next Steps

Interning at ETF Partners has been a fantastic learning experience. Personally, the key takeaway from this internship is the increased optimism I have for the future state of the world. Though we are in a climate emergency, and this poses some urgent challenges, ETF Partners has shown me that through challenge comes opportunity, and the entrepreneurs that ETF supports, are revolutionising the path towards a sustainable future.

After this internship, I will be pursuing an MSc Entrepreneurship at UCL that will help me to grow further my education platform to enable more students to reach their full potential through online tuition, educational clubs, and personal development training. The internship training has provided me with the perspective of sitting on the VC side of the table. I believe the insights learned at ETF Partners will help me in terms of understanding (and hopefully avoiding) the mistakes that one can make in running a business.

A sincere thank you to the team at ETF Partners for providing me with this internship opportunity and for the generosity in wisdom, insights, and kindness over the past 8 weeks. It has truly been an amazing experience!