HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Northern Kentucky University students are providing crucial support for high-growth minority entrepreneurs and receiving hands-on learning opportunities as part of a new talent development collaboration between NKU, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s nationally recognized Minority Business Accelerator and Inphlu, a Cincinnati-based tech startup.
“This partnership truly brings the business community and higher education together by developing a talent pipeline, and it aligns directly with our Success by Design Strategic Framework’s pillar of career and community engagement,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “We look to continue to develop partnerships like this to further student success to meet the needs of our region.”
As part of the collaboration, students in the Haile/US Bank College of Business’ Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) can apply for exclusive internship opportunities within Inphlu. Students work as junior account managers helping other businesses create digital strategies across their social media platforms.
“One of our initiatives at the CIE is to develop a talent pipeline for the start-up ecosystem. Internships with high-potential start-ups like Inphlu, provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that start-ups need,” said Zac Strobl, assistant director of the CIE.
The program complements the Cincinnati Chamber’s host of other talent initiatives designed to support businesses and cultivate a workforce. Utilizing the leadership experience of the Minority Business Accelerator, the partnership also provides a valuable business service to the community.
“Many entrepreneurs are challenged to identify and support the right mix of talent to scale their early-stage business, so through this unique collaboration with NKU we were able to create a solid base and pipeline of talent for Inphlu, while concurrently providing an exciting and real world business experience for the students,” said Darrin Redus, vice president and executive director of the Minority Business Accelerator.
Led by Inphlu’s management, students will develop strategic social media planning, understand customer service, conduct market research and data analytics. The partnership’s autonomy mimics the reality of careers in the digital communications field.
“We want to empower the student interns to be creative, strategic and professional,” said Joshua Reid, founder and CEO of Inphlu. “By letting them learn the ropes and assisting experts through their internship, we’re helping them experience the realities of a potential career in a field that is rapidly evolving.”