Back to Blog June 14, 2018 in

Meet the MVCA Staff: Alhan Kandrikar

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Alhan attending the MEDC SmartZone meeting in June 2018!

MVCA interns have a great opportunity to network with Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community as well as work on one of our most significant resources – The Michigan Entrepreneurial & Investment Landscape Guide! This year, we’re excited to have Alhan Kandrikar, an entrepreneur and student at the University of Michigan, join our team as our 2018 summer intern.

Check out our Q&A below to learn more about why Alhan’s interested in working with Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community, his mentors, and current startups he’s working on!

Alhan attending the Desai Accelerator 2018 Summer Cohort Kick Off!

What are you studying?

I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. Since it is a general degree, I have the opportunity to take a wide variety of classes including finance, strategy, business analytics, accounting and even a little bit of marketing.

How did you find out about the internship opportunity at MVCA and what inspired you to work in Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community?

I first found out about the MVCA internship through the Marcel Gani internship program. This is a great program, which provides funding for students at the business school to pursue an internship in the whole startup ecosystem. I happened to find this through a friend who did an internship last year through the program. As an entrepreneur myself, I was really fascinated with learning more about the startup ecosystem. And, MVCA provided me with an incredible opportunity to help me meet some great companies and venture capitalists.

What projects do you look forward to working on at MVCA?

The whole startup ecosystem is pretty vast and it is often difficult to get a grasp of how the entire system functions. Luckily, one of my projects is to compile a resource guide for entrepreneurs, which will help them connect with venture capitalists, angels, and service provider organizations within the State of Michigan. This will be helpful for me to get a grasp of the ecosystem, while at the same time helping startups find funding, which I have heard is pretty difficult for early-stage companies because they might not be familiar with how the system works. The project is also a great learning experience to meet members of the venture capital community who have been very successful in the State of Michigan.

My second project, which I am really excited about, is to research the impact venture-backed startups have on job creation in the State of Michigan. I have been told that it is challenging to arrive at the exact number, but I am already thinking of a million different ways I can pursue this. Hopefully, I can tell you how many jobs startups create since their founding. Lastly, I am also excited about developing blog posts based on the key trends found in the 2018 MVCA Research Report, so stay tuned for what I report on in the coming weeks!

Can you tell us more about your startups?

I am very interested in the startup ecosystem, as I mentioned, and have actually been a part of four different startups while at the University of Michigan. We are currently working on a new venture, which I am really excited about, and hopefully, all the VCs will be hearing about it in the next few months!

Who do you consider as a mentor or role model?

My dad has always been an influential figure in my life. He has helped me get into college and provided guidance on my career. So, I would consider him to be my most significant mentor. My professors at Ross have also been pretty influential. My business analytics professor really sparked an interest in the big data landscape and really pushed me to learn to program, as it is becoming critical in this day and age. My finance professors have also been pretty influential, as I am very interested in the subject. My corporate investment decisions class was one of my favorites, as we created financial models arriving at valuations for companies. I really enjoyed that class.

Lastly, what is a special talent you have that most people don’t know about?

I’m a poet. Well, I have tried writing poetry and failed miserably. But I do enjoy creative writing and have tried writing some creative pieces. If I remember correctly, I think I wrote a poem for my University of Michigan application essay.

Welcome to the MVCA team, Alhan!