Announcing 1517 Fund Investment: Symba

Symba is on a mission to democratize access to work-based opportunities.

Symba is a tech startup on a mission to democratize access to work-based opportunities. They leverage the power of remote internships to help companies source and manage the best talent from anywhere in the world. The team has designed 5K internship experiences and has partnered with 450 universities. Checkout their news on Techcrunch!

Our investment in Symba has been a long time coming! We first met Ahva and Nikita at the Next Gen Summit (a sister organization and also 1517 portfolio company) almost two years ago for their pitch competition. What the team didn’t know then was that a global pandemic would shake our world and bring with it a lot of change about how students learn and work. 

When we first met the team the idea was a good one to build a platform to find and manage interns remotely. In fact, we had seen the problem first hand as well, from going to hackathons across North America, we’ve seen extremely sharp talent getting internships at “the place next to my dad’s work” because they didn’t know how to find an internship and remote wasn’t an option.

That said, when we first met it was hard to see how Symba would fit into the venture market. Remote work was on a trajectory to increase but still not the norm. And then covid hit which changed everything. 

The team reconnected with me through Acceleprise later and really stood out. We were impressed by their ability to build, execute, in and do sales (they had a number of pilots, not just the typical one or two that we look for when in diligence). It’s a rare triple threat on founding teams and one of the traits we look for most. And when we did our customer diligence calls, it was nothing but rave reviews. 

Today they are working with partners like Robinhood and Genentech to build bigger and broader internship programs. They have also expanded to working with accelerators and bootcamps. Some employers are liking the product so much that they want to use it with other remote teams.

With our founders we love to do visioning work and Symba wants to become the leading platform for early talent acquisition. We are very excited to have Symba on board and for this also to be our first investment with Hustle Fund. Onward and upward everyone!

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