PROTECT3D is a company that creates 3D printed protective pads, splints, and braces for athletes. We use a 3D scanner to capture the shape of an athlete's body, then upload the scan to CAD modeling software and apply proprietary digital fabrication in order to create the device. Much of the focus for this summer was centered around product development, customer acquisition, revamping customer experience, and increasing our own efficiency.
My role during this internship was as a mechanical engineering intern. My jobs varied quite a bit, because the startup atmosphere meant there were only 5 people working everyday. One thing I focused on was learning more about the techniques used during our unique digital fabrication. I also revamped the company’s understanding of our customer experience and took steps to improve it (designed shirts, mesh bags, mailers, and improved packaging techniques). On top of that I helped make the company more efficient by creating online tracking boards to keep everyone accountable and to keep track of our workflow testing as well as inventory. I was also in charge of our marketing materials, and spearheaded new marketing tactics with the announcement of new NIL endorsement possibilities for current college athletes.
This experience is the epitome of design and entrepreneurial action. Day in and day out, my work was centered on designing products, company infrastructure, and marketing materials. All of the designing I did had the underlying push that it needed to be perfect for our customers. I learned much about the balance that exists in entrepreneurship that is developing your product to be the best, while convincing your customer that your product already is the best.
Social Media Marketing Material Examples (Instagram)
"Pet Project" Internship at implantable pet tracker startup through the Spark Business Accelerator Program
150 hour experience
During this summer experience, I had the opportunity to work with Laura Cox, a Duke Fuqua Business School Alum and Industrial Engineer who is now a Healthcare Executive at myTomorrows working in Product Development. Our goal was to create a new type of pet-tracking technology that would be a tremendous step up from current tracking hardware and software. When I joined Laura, the idea for this “Pet Project” was still in its early stages, but she had already joined the Spark Incubator program in the UK. Throughout the course of the summer, we went through different stages of venture development and growth while having access to successful founders and great templates for building the product as well as the structure of the company.
As the Engineering Intern, most of my work went into doing market research and performing competitive analyses on pet collars with GPS tracking technologies. I designed a proof of concept, as well as performed several iterations of outlining the MVP characteristics of our prototype, which I then had the opportunity to qualify by contacting experts in engineering, wildlife tracking, and product design. We also performed several analytical assessments of our product, including a large-scale questionnaire sent to pet owners to truly get a sense of the value of our product when presented to consumers.
In addition to working on the engineering and product design side of the project, I worked heavily in creating a database of knowledge for future reference. Because Laura and I were on different continents and in different time-zones, effective communication was integral to the efficiency of our work. We regularly met via video-conferencing, but when we were unable to do that we prioritized clear communication through documentation and diligent citations.
I value this experience because of the crash course it gave me on the hurdles to jump through when creating a new venture. It was a privilege to have access to such amazing material as was provided through the Spark Incubator Program, and to have exposure to Laura, a truly driven innovator.