Blackfinch launches platform to help startups recruit specialist talent

Blackfinch has announced the launch of the #ISOLATIONINTERN platform in partnership with investment industry firms and universities to enable specialist talent acquisition under Covid-19 restrictions.

The initiative aims to supercharge early stage companies and help keep this vital sector of the economy on track.

Startups are facing difficult times due to Covid-19, whilst many university students and researchers are at home, unable to work because their offices and labs are closed — although this may change after the Prime Minister’s address on Monday regarding the easing of lockdown rules.

The #ISOLATIONINTERN platform connects these bright minds to startups through flexible internships so that expertise like data science, marketing, and development can be engaged on a part-time basis.

The scheme is backed by a number of prominent investment industry partners such as Nexus Investments, Breed Reply, Shakespeare Martineau, Clarendon Fund Managers, Mercia Asset Management and the Development Bank of Wales.

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A number of leading universities will also help by promoting the scheme to their students and researchers, including Lincoln, Bath, Southampton and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford.

Dr Oliver Sampson, Industry Liaison Administrator at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, said: “We are very happy to support the #ISOLATIONINTERN initiative during these difficult times. It will allow our talented students access to exciting opportunities with innovative start-ups that they are able to undertake remotely. The commercial and entrepreneurial experience they gain will be a significant addition to their education.”

The #ISOLATIONINTERN platform is already hosting a number of intern jobs and is open to the investment industry and universities to sign up as partners. All listing fees will be donated to charities like The Access Project that help talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain access to UK’s top universities.

Specialist talent acquisition

The need for the #ISOLATIONINTERN initiative was identified through conversations between Blackfinch Group and the technology-enabled companies they invest in. As part of Blackfinch’s investment research process, it became clear that specialist talent acquisition was already a problem for many startups, even before it was exacerbated by Covid-19 movement restrictions.

Richard Cook, Blackfinch CEO, said: “Talent is the life-blood of startups; without the brightest minds, they cannot develop and adapt at the pace the market demands. Venture Capital, startups and academia are all part of a close-knit ecosystem, which has been put under pressure in the current Covid 19 crisis. It became clear to us at Blackfinch that we were in a position to act proactively to help secure that network and supercharge startup recruitment — and so #ISOLATIONINTERN was born.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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