FSU Tech Fellows

How do technology, business, and design come together to create a useful product? How do startup companies begin, grow, and scale?

If these questions intrigue you or you have an interest in working with technology-based startups, APPLY for the Summer Tech Fellows program!!

So What is This?

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE) has partnered with Launch Florida, a coalition of the state’s top entrepreneurship and innovation organizations, to promote diversity in the technology sector by providing summer internships for first-generation college students (must be affiliated with CARE). In this program you will gain hands-on experience and connections in tech entrepreneurship through working with incubator staff, startup companies, and mentors.

The Tech Fellows program seeks to expose students to the everyday work of product development, entrepreneurship, and ecosystem building. As a fellow you will spend a dynamic summer embedded with ecosystem building organizations and work alongside startup companies. This program is designed to help you answer the following questions:  

To insure that you are able to fully take advantage of these internships the program will provide a $5000 stipend for living expenses and housing costs. These accommodations will allow you to devote your time and efforts on working with program staff and startup companies.

What should I expect during the internship?

The internship will begin in early June and end in mid-August. You are expected to complete the entire internship and work with program staff to add value to your host site and a designated startup at the incubator. The internships are full-time and may include working at evening or weekend events. In addition to your work, you will document your experience with weekly reflections and a case study  project.

What exactly will I be doing?

You can expect to be exposed to a wide range of work tasks, including things like curriculum development, venture capital, program management, facility management, event planning, marketing, and business strategy. You will learn best practices in entrepreneurship and innovation support, meeting some of Florida’s top investors, mentors, and tech entrepreneurs. You will be in fast-paced, dynamic, and evolving environment, where it will pay to think on your feet and have the confidence to take ownership of your work.

Another key element of the fellowship is that you will document your experience with weekly reflections and will conduct a case study of a member startup and the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Finally, you will present your research at the CRE’s annual Fall Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence.

What kind of skills do I need?

That depends, but it helps if you have a core skillset or two such as design, coding, financial modeling, marketing, or writing. It will be up to you and your host site to not only leverage your core skills to add value, but to set goals for exposing you to new challenges that grow new skillsets.

The Tech Fellows application is due November 9, 2018 and is available here.

ELIGIBILITY: All undergraduate students are eligible to apply provided that they:

  • Are affiliated with FSU’s Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE)
  • Are enrolled at FSU at the time of application
  • Will have completed at least 12 credit hours at FSU before accepting the Fellowship
  • Will return to FSU as an undergraduate in Fall of 2019

If you have any questions, please contact David Montez at dmontez@fsu.edu.


Meet the 2018 FSU Tech Fellows



Demarco Lockhart is a Junior in the Information, Communication, and Technology program. He is already well-versed in what digital media means to a tech startup. Before being selected as a Tech Fellow, Demarco worked for an Atlanta-based company overseeing two interns developing social media and blog content. This summer he will be interning with Tallahassee’s Domi Station, where he will be working with Cuttlesoft, a software development startup incubated within Domi.



Fabuola Pierre a Sophomore Information, Communication, and Technology major.  She volunteers with the Center for Leadership and Social Change, as a social media manager and writer. Fabuola is also the social media and community coordinator for FSU’s Association of Information Technology Professionals and TechNole. This summer she will be interning with the Tampa Bay Wave. The Wave recently received a grant from the Nielsen Foundation to support minority/women/veteran startups, and Fabuola will be examining this program’s impact.



Isiah Parfait is a Junior in the Spanish Business program. He previously attended the Valencia (Spain) International Program, where he worked within an incubator supporting a wine tour startup. Isiah has received a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, a Black Alumni Association Scholarship, and an International Programs Scholarship. In addition, he has volunteered as a C.A.R.E. Guide and Situational Environmental Circumstances Mentor. Isiah will be working with Orlando’s Starter Studio. There, Isiah will apply his social justice training, present workshops on organizational culture, and assist with the incubator’s mentoring program.


Kevin Zhou_ProfileImage_0.jpg

Kevin Zhou is a Junior Economics major and will be working with Groundswell in Melbourne, an incubator led by Micah Widen, the original Executive Director of Domi Station. Kevin is developing an online retail startup selling high-end streetwear. Kevin’s research project for Tech Fellows will examine vertical integration within the Space Coast business ecosystem.



MiaMercado_profileimage.jpg Maria (Mia) Mercado is a Junior Information, Communication, and Technology major. Previously, Mia has worked as a senior clerk with Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services. This summer, Mia will intern with one of our new incubator partners, 500 Startups Miami. 500 Startups, an international for-profit group of incubators/accelerators, presents a unique, new partnership for the Tech Fellows program. The Miami 500 Startups utilizes its South Florida location to connect with companies in the Latin/South American markets as well as within Miami.









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