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Startup Companies

Are you up for a unique challenge, with a chance to use your skills in a fast paced environment, where you work hard, wear many hats, and commit all your energy to an idea that has only a one out of four chance of success?  If so, then working at a startup company may be for you! 


Working At A Startup


  • Not a job, but a mission – greater feeling of creating something of value
  • Lack of structure – less hierarchy, fewer rules, more casual work hours
  • More room for creativity and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Perks can include working from home, free food, open leave policy
  • Potential stock options – ownership in the company
  • Promotion opportunities to leadership roles easier and faster
  • Results of your work are immediate, and rewarding
  • Multiple roles, so gain valuable and diverse skills
  • You help define company culture
  • Generally fewer politics, more camaraderie


  • Uncertainty, risk – there is no guarantee the company will be successful
  • Pay and benefits may not be as good, at least initially
  • Pay structure may be different; you may receive a stipend, or profit sharing options, instead of a set hourly pay rate or annual salary
  • Less work life  balance – heavy work load and long hours
  • More pressure to perform – smaller workforce so every person factors into company success

What Startups Look For In A Candidate

  • Passion & enthusiasm
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Tech smarts
  • Ability to communicate
  • Outside projects
  • Committed to personal growth and learning
  • Self-starter
  • Extras – what else have you done

Tips For A Successful Search

  • Do side projects; develop an app, contribute to an open source project
  • Learn new technologies (classes and outside; Khan Academy, Coursera,, Open Courseware)
  • Demonstrate your passion
  • Be persistent & patient
  • Get involved with a campus startup
  • Participate in a hackathon or makeathon
  • Showcase your skills; GitHub, personal website, online portfolio, blog
  • Research startups, focus on those that fit your interests & skills
  • Personalized contact with CEO, demonstrate passion & interest, detail how you can make an impact

More Information On Startups

Wakefield/Uncubed - - Uncubed connects you with the skills, insight, and opportunities to succeed in a world increasingly powered by innovation.  Learn tech skills online, get current information on tech and startup companies, meet companies at Uncubed sponsored events and career fairs.  Daily email highlights openings at tech startups.

Uncubed Edge - - short online classes offer information on all aspects of the startup industry including career advice.  Edge is the place to learn cutting-edge techniques in tech, product, and business from innovative companies like BarkBox, Contently, Gilt, and Oscar.

Think B1G - - information on working in the startup industry, connections to companies with openings.

Venture Studio - the top podcast covering the NYC venture capital community. Interviews with influential investors, founders, and others in and around the NYC funding ecosystem. Subscribe now. -  Develop your knowledge and skills with open source projects and information.

Pros & Cons of Working at a Startup Company -  

10 Facts about Working for a Startup vs. a Big Company -

Startup Job Search Resources

Wakefield/Uncubed - – daily emails highlight openings at tech startup companies.

Think B1G - -  connections to startup companies with job openings.

Startup Jobs - – search thousands of jobs at the world’s best startups.

Career Enlightenment: 10 Best Startup Job Boards -  - list of highly targeted job boards for startup opportunities.

AngelList -  - where the world meets startups.

VentureLoop - - job listings with venture backed companies.

TechGen - - internship opportunities at Boston’s hottest tech startups.  Connect with other interns and companies through events, panels, workshops and more.

RIT’s Simone Center for Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship -  - have your own idea for a startup?  The Simone Center has resources and programs to assist.