The OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab hires a pool of future business executives, engineers, marketers, designers, and software programmers and start them off by working on small projects for the Co-Lab. These projects include researching, event planning, writing program plans, and automating data tracking and reporting.
OSU-Cascades Students use the OSU-Cascades Co-Lab as a base of operations for their work. While they work primarily with the Executive Director, they get access to a diverse network of coaches, professionals and entrepreneurs. Further, they get access to Co-Lab professional and networking events to build their skills.
On the first day of work, our students bring their resume and 3 jobs that they want someday. The Executive Director sits down with them and identifies gaps in their resume. Next, they work together to create a list of potential job tasks and learning materials that would help them bridge those gaps. On the last day our students repeat the same task and get help writing their resume.
We train students on professional etiquette, time tracking, productivity hacks, proper email communication, workplace attire, resume writing, and other important topics. Additionally, the Co-Lab provides books, online resources guides, and a library of tools to help them learn. These materials are made accessible for students in the program and taking classes at OSU-Cascades.
Students get access to entrepreneurship, nonprofits, and our mentor workshops for free. These workshops cover topics such as “how to build a marketing roadmap,” “how to launch a startup,” “how to automate workflows,” “intellectual property,” “where to get funding,” and more.
How to build a marketing roadmap, how to launch a startup, how to automate workflows, how to protect intellectual property, and/or where to get funding and how to pitch.
We give our interns an initial project at the Co-Lab to help them get started. For example, one intern last year completed a market research report and comparison study about summer programs at universities across the United States for our Marketing and Community Relations department. After she presented her results, OSU-Cascades used her 40-page report to create the Summer Academy. Once our interns complete a few internal projects, they may take on projects with companies or nonprofits.
We pay our students for this work. Our flex and dedicated members pay to access these interns for $17 an hour, and we pass almost all of that on to the students. This allows the student to work here while going to school, it makes it easy for you to get the interns you need, and it makes the program sustainable.
Also, these are students who we are learning important skills – not 10+ year professionals. As a result, we do not guarantee the work or a timeline for completion. Even though we are confident that our students can tackle difficult tasks, and even though we train them, many tasks will take our students longer to complete. Some results won’t be what you get from someone from 10 years of experience. Sometimes, students will try and outright fail. But these students will learn, they will build important job skills, and they will grow our future workforce in Oregon.
Lastly, if the project that you’re working on is highly technical or skill-based, you may need to pay outside consultants to assist. For example, tasks like videography, software programming, or high-end content generation may require an outside consultant, and we will work with you to identify one before the start of work. You as the sponsor are responsible for letting us know that you wan t to have these students work with an expert, for contracting directly with the expert, and for paying for their services directly.
Get started at as low as $25 a month and $17 an hour. We find the interns, hire them, provide the space, training, and manage the work. This is an amazing deal as prior to COVID-19 the monthly membership alone was $150.
With donations and/or sponsorships, the Co-Lab can support more interns and reduce the costs of working with companies and nonprofits.
Depending on the project, sponsors have the option of (1) making a charitable, tax-deductible donation or (2) paying OSU-Cascades for services and potentially taking a business tax deduction.
(1) Charitable donations may be made when the project benefits a third party or a class of citizens.
(2) A fee for service may be charged when the project benefits an individual or company directly as a result of the work.
To be eligible, you must be an OSU-Cascades student with at least 6 credits in the previous year. You may come from any major at OSU-Cascades, and you must be in good academic standing.
Note that we’re flexible, but you need work for at least 5 hours a week (with the exception being holidays and travel). Also note, you must be able to work at the Co-Lab during the times that it is open (between 7:30 AM and 7 PM).