Crowdfunded International Internships!
What unfolded in September 2017 was one of the most rewarding experience while volunteering for Lab-X Foundation.
After having a few successful pilot programs, in August 2017, we decided to take our programs right into the community to create more awareness about quality education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), raise funds and create champions who can help us spread the word and provide feedback.
Lab-X Foundation was accepted in GlobalGiving’s 2017 September Accelerator Program. This program empowers a non-profit to build skills, access tools, and grow your base of supporters to achieve crowdfunding success.
Now we are a proud GlobalGiving Partner and have earned the ‘Vetted’, ‘Top Ranked’, ‘SuperStar’ and ‘Effective Non-Profit’ rewards on GlobalGiving. This is a glowing testimonial of our effectiveness and engagement with the community.
We got featured on the GlobalGiving’s homepage which has over 3 million visitors every year and in their Monthly Donation Matching Campaign’s email newsletter reaching out to 500,000+ active donors.
Labxfoundation.org received 62,642 hits during the month of September, our highest in 2017. During 28 days of the campaign, our Facebook posts reached 20000+ users, 2646 post engagements, page likes improved by 69% and page followers by 77%. We saw similar trends on our Twitter page, engagement rate went up by 13.4% from September to October 2017, and created about 6000 impressions..
What was the campaign all about?
Current state of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education :
Due to lack of practical experience and global exposure, most engineering graduates in India are unable to reach their full potential. Their inability to think critically and solve complex problems prevents them from finding innovative solutions to widespread socio-economic problems. Severe shortage of skilled talent in the industry results in slower rate of innovation and technological advancements, ultimately causing brain drain, depriving the society of passionate change makers.
Over 90% engineering students in India attend schools that do not offer quality, practical STEM education, thus wasting the nation’s talent.
To solve this problem, we at Lab-X Foundation, an award winning 501-c-3 non-profit, has identified an interesting solution — to provide students with limited resources international internships to get hands-on experience of working on cutting edge research, technology and entrepreneurship.
We call it ‘Intern-Me’
What is so special about ‘Intern-Me’ ?
Benefits for students -
- Intern-Me empowers bright, deserving students with limited resources to participate in international internships
- Develop critical thinking & problem solving
- Gain hands-on experience
- Build your network and get global exposure
- Find mentors
Benefits for host-institutes (who offer internships) —
- Identify talent with relevant skills
- Generation of intellectual property
- Outreach to large number of students
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Benefits for community -
- Intern-Me winners pledge to solve socio-economic problems
- Improve quality of technical education
- Develop young leaders ready for future challenges
- Generate innovative solutions to socio-economic problems
- Retain talents within the community
How do we plan to utilize these funds ?
With the generous donations raised through GlobalGiving, we estimate that we would be able to give hands-on research internship experience to at least 5 deserving students. Intern-Me 2018 competition will be launched in the first quarter of 2018. We plan to choose the finalists from our competition by March/April 2018. Selected students will participate in internships starting summer 2018.
Talent has no boundaries. Students from local community colleges are equally talented and capable as those from Tier 1 and Tier 2 universities. What could possible be lacking in them is access to latest and quality resources, funds to manage expensive tuition, competitive spirit, hands-on experience and global exposure. We believe that the best way to bring about socio-economic upliftment is by nurturing futuristic, inclusive and equal opportunity leaders who are capable of solving local community problems through ‘education for all’. Lab-X Foundation’s Intern-Me is just one step in that direction.
Our Impact and Testimonials
Through our flagship ‘Intern-Me’ international internship program, till date -
- We have offered 4 internships in USA, both technical research and business-centric
- Intern-Me alumni have co-founded 2 startups, filed 1 patent, published 4 research papers and started 1 non-profit organization
Participating in our program has been life-changing experience for the interns. They truly identified their passion, got to work at some of the top research institutes and learnt a lot from their colleagues.
“Before this internship, I only had a vague idea of what research entails. The internship showed me that research is fun and invigorating. The entire journey into research was truly exciting.” — Venkat Chinta
“As a Market Research Intern, I analyzed technical and market feasibility of new technologies. I evaluated competitive product landscape and assessed deal flow status to determine investment requirements” — Rahul R
“I was able to publish a technical paper in collaboration with a senior scientist. That was the most thrilling experience for me” — Alfred Johnson
Intern-Me winners mentor other students, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of technologists and entrepreneurs. This augments current education system and helps ignite minds of youth to learn and share and develop sense of giving back to community.
Each winner also pledges to solve a socio-economic problem in his/her community to fulfill Lab-X’s ‘Give Back Pledge’, thus setting examples for others to follow
We nurture future generation of leaders — responsible global citizens ready for challenges of the future
“I decided to work on combating ignorance prevalent in the underprivileged low income sections of the society through quality primary education that fosters creativity and overall development” — Amulya Kaza
Not just this, an Intern-Me participant who did not win the internship had a very positive impact from the overall competition and our interview process.
“Though I could not successfully get through the final interview of Intern-Me 2014; even though it made me really disappointed at that time, it actually made me realize that I was much better than the hundreds of other applicants and also during the interviews the Lab-X team made me realize that my achievements were not trivial. In short, the entire experience with Lab-X motivated me to such a great extent that I chose to stick to a research career.” — Ronith Stanly
About Lab-X Foundation :
Lab-X Foundation is a US based 501-c-3 non-profit, co-founded by MIT, OSU, UMass and UMD grad students, committed to bringing world-class higher education in developing nations and helping to retain talents within the community. We provide hands-on opportunities and global exposure to students and create a unique ecosystem fostering research, innovation and entrepreneurship by partnering with some of the best institutions and corporations in the world. Lab-X Foundation is winner of 2013 MIT IDEAS Global Challenge — Community Choice Award and has a network of more than 10,000 engineering students in India through its various channels. For more info on our vision, team and programs, please visit our website.
Past Events :
- International Symposium on Internet of Things, Mumbai
- ‘Intern-Me’ (International Internship Program) http://labxfoundation.org/programs/internme/
- Poster prototype competition: Demo-IT( All India Poster Prototype Competition. Partnered with IEEE R-10 region), Hyderabad
- ‘Antariskh’ — A program on Space Technology, Bangalore http://www.antariksh.spaceschool.co.in/
- ‘Inspire’ Outreach Talk by Dr. Archana Sharma, Scientist at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
- ‘Inspire’ Outreach Talk by Sampriti Bhattacharyya, Co-founder Lab-X Foundation, Roboticist @ MIT, Founder @ Hydroswarm
If you/your organization is interested in offering internships, and/or for any other questions, write us at email@example.com