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Thoughtful, eclectic, relaxed.

Meet Sam Resendez, a rising sophomore at the University of Southern California. This summer, he’s working as a software engineer at Thor Trucks, a technology company that aims to fix America’s broken transportation system. He’s Finnish and Mexican and beyond programming, he plays guitar and does gymnastics. Sam admires LA for its “underdog” vibe and hopes to gain as many different perspectives as possible during his fellowship. In the future, he hopes to become a big player in the Open Source community and even build his own firm.

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?

Mostly that there seems to be more room to learn a variety of things as compared to a larger company, and you get way closer with the people working on it with you. …


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Relatively cool dude.

Meet Josh Miller, a rising junior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Josh is a machine learning intern at Flux.LA, a search engine optimization and digital marketing agency in Los Angeles. As a self-taught machine learning engineer, he aims to earn his PhD in machine learning and artificial intelligence in the future. This is his first time on the west coast, so he hopes to have the classic LA experience, along with burritos, free stickers, and a chance to meet top professionals in the city’s upcoming tech scene.

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?

I guess it’s really statistics that brought me here. After learning a lot about machine learning in my spare time and developing some fun side projects using that technology (for example: https://twitter.com/cooperbotAI ), I decided that the next internship I wanted to do would be something that allowed me to work on such a project. Seeing how most larger companies only accept grad/phd students to work on machine learning projects (and this is done for good reasons), it was much more likely that I’d end up finding my opportunity with a smaller company / startup. Luckily for me, that’s exactly what happened! …


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Creative, Silly, Persevering.

Meet Stormy Jackson, a rising sophomore at the University of Southern California. Stormy has been working as a mobile UI/UX designer at Playfull, a company that engages restaurant customers with mobile games to win food. She has a huge personality and enjoys everything from Mexican food to spreading positive vibes. Her name is inspired by the character Storm from X-Men. During her time as a fellow, she has spent her lunches in LA eating at LACMA and she hopes to dive into as many of her own projects as possible during the summer.

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?


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Adventurous, Persistent, Unconventional.

Meet Grant Fong, a rising junior at Brown University. Grant has been working as a backend development intern at PlayFull, a company that enhances customers’ experiences at restaurants by allowing users to play games to win food. He talks about his aim to make an impact by exploring the startup route and his strides to help solve the issue of mental health. He not only loves riding bikes, but fixing and building them as well. …


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Easy, Breezy, Fresh.

Meet Justin He, a rising sophomore at the University of Southern California. Justin has been interning as a software engineering intern at Fae Maps, a real-time social media platform that connects users to the communities around them. Outside of coding, he has a passion for dancing and a secret talent of beatboxing. He hopes to explore the best that LA has to offer, from enjoying the best food in the city to meeting the most amazing and talented group of individuals from TechLA and learning as much as he can during his time here.

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?


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Comfortable being uncomfortable.

Meet Robert! A rising senior at USC, he’s spent the last two years traveling the world as part of USC’s World Bachelor in Business program, spending year each in Hong Kong and Milan. This summer’s he’s back in Los Angeles and interning at Thor Trucks, a transportation company focused on building fully electric, freight-grade trucks for commercial use. We threw some questions his way to get to know him a little bit better. Here’s what we got back:

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?

I grew up in the epicenter of technological innovation and have experienced its ripple effect as I’ve lived around the world. For me, the value in startups isn’t in cool ideas. Replicable cool ideas exist everywhere, be it dense metropolis or sparsely populated wilderness. People that are committed to their idea, throwing everything they have to see their dreams come to life. …


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Innovative. Activist. Entrepreneur.

Meet Olivia! Olivia’s an incoming freshman at Stanford University, with a knack for building viable products way before most people even start coding seriously. She’s worked at 5 startups, and already built a product with over 250,000 downloads. This summer, she’s interning at Flux Ventures and working on mobile game development. We threw some questions her way to get to know her a little bit better. Here’s what we got back:

What inspired you to explore startups and join a small company?

Simply put, I love to build things. Working at a startup provides me the opportunity to actually have influence over products and the company. …


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My name is Ankur Rastogi, and I’m a rising junior at the University of Southern California. On campus, I’m part of Spark SC, the student-run entrepreneurial hub at USC that runs programs and initiatives every semester on campus and across the LA area. I’ve spent the last 8 months working in a team of 7 students to build the Tech.LA Fellows Program: a new initiative launching this summer that partners a handful of exceptional college students with internships in engineering, design, and business at budding startups in Los Angeles. Here’s why we did it.

The Problem We Saw

LA’s technology scene is booming. From well-known up-and-comers like Snap to the out-of-the-garage founders who are just starting their businesses, the entrepreneurial scene across the city is experiencing an explosion that would have seemed unlikely just 10 years ago. But despite all that growth, Los Angeles often times gets the short end of the stick. If someone asked you about the location you think about when you hear the word “technology,” your mind would likely go directly to Silicon Valley or potentially New York, or maybe even Chicago. And despite all its growth and unique professional and cultural location, LA would likely not be on that list. We wanted to do something about that. …

About

Tech.LA Fellows

Tech.LA Fellows pairs top college students with internship opportunities at up-and-coming start-ups in the Los Angeles Tech Sphere.

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