From MVF’s Summer MBA Intern

posted on August 27th, 2014 in Category:

Jeff Devlin, MBA Candidate Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Management

This summer I’ve traded the woods of Dartmouth for the rocky shores of Portland, Maine as an MBA intern at the Maine Venture Fund (MVF). As a first year MBA candidate, the options for summer internships were overwhelming to say the least, but when I saw this opportunity I immediately knew it was perfect. Coming from an engineering background, I sought out an experience where I could apply my product development expertise and learn more about early stage financing and how entrepreneurial ideas take flight. Thus far, the experience has more than lived up to my expectations.

As a summer associate, I spend about one-third of my time working on the fund’s due-diligence and investment activities. The rest of the time, I am embedded within one of the fund’s portfolio companies, Bar Harbor Biotechnology (BHB), a small life sciences firm that produces tools that quantify gene expression for drug discovery, genetics research, personalized medicine, and diagnostic development. At BHB, I am advising the CEO on developing a marketing plan and commercial strategy for their flagship StellARay product line.

The project at BHB and the investment projects at MVF have been a terrific way to apply both my pre-Tuck experience at a Fortune 500 medical company and freshly-minted skills from business school. I have particularly enjoyed the many opportunities to meet passionate entrepreneurs, executives, and investors dedicated to innovation and growth within the state. While small, it’s clear that the entrepreneurial spirit in Maine is growing. Technology has no doubt played a large part in this growth, allowing small businesses to connect with customers around the world via the web. Despite the growth, funding for the seed stage businesses remains limited, highlighting the importance funds like MVF play in spurring economic development. Taking part in MVF’s mission has been a rewarding and educational experience I am thrilled to have been a part of.

The beaches and seafood in Portland aren’t a bad part of the gig either.

Maine Venture Fund partners with Tuck Business School and Tuck Gives each summer to provide hands of experience to an MBA student in economic development, venture capital, and entrepreneurship through a summer internship.