Lab Techs and Interns play an integral role in the success of every Lightning Lab Programme. Their roles and responsibilities are quite distinct, but the qualities that we look for in candidates are very similar.
Lab Techs work directly with the startups in the lab to provide necessary skills and expertise to help teams build their companies and prepare for investment. This is generally a paid, full-time role for the 13 weeks leading up to Demo Day. Lab Tech skills generally fall into one of three buckets – Design, Development, or a more generalised “Business” skill set, which could include Sales, Marketing, or Legal expertise.
- Design Lab Techs will be helping teams with their branding, website design, and UI/UX for their MVPs. A strong graphic / web skillset is desirable, along with knowledge of prototyping tools such as inVision. Familiarity with front end tools such as WordPress / Squarespace / Shopify and any experience with implementing them is a strong bonus.
- Development Lab Techs will be helping teams with their digital solutions – they should be technically flexible, and comfortable with a range of modern web-based stacks. Most of our digital startups will be building mobile/cloud-based applications and should already have a founder in a lead technical role, who you’ll be working with closely.
- The most important quality we look for in “Business” Lab Techs is that mix of personability, pro-activeness, and initiative that we call “hustle”. The number one thing startups need in the lab is progress, or “traction” as we call it – and the best way to get this is sales, signed contracts, and growth. Experience with customer development, marketing, sales, and negotiations are the key skills here.
Lab Techs aren’t consultants, and will be expected to be hands-on and bolstering the teams as requirements come up. Taking meetings, writing production code, or delivering creative assets on a deadline are stock-standard, and we look for flexibility and communication skills across the board.
Interns become part of the Lightning Lab operations team and assist in the delivery of the programme.
They’ll help with the day-to-day operations
and will undertake a variety of tasks as they arise in the fast-paced environment of the lab. These roles are more flexible on timing and are generally unpaid. Great interns will have excellent written and verbal communications skills, close attention to detail, and they’ll be passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship, wanting to learn and absorb as much as possible.
Both Lab Techs and Interns get to experience a Lightning Lab programme from the inside, with all the learning and connections it brings. Exposure to the Lean Startup methodology, and seeing it being implemented live by a cohort of up to 10 startups, is a thorough education opportunity on best practice for early-stage companies. Opportunities to meet and be involved with the huge pool of mentors, speakers, investors and advisors that take part in each programme can lead to an unparalleled network and invaluable future connections.
For more details from previous Lab Techs check out Lucy’s escape story or Justin’s insight into the ins and outs of the role.