Internship at Combient Foundry – Emmi Ahonen, Minea Wallis-Brown and Nicole Gustafsson

What projects did you work on? How was it working on them and how was the experience?

Emmi Ahonen: I worked with SKF and Munters on several projects focused on improving sustainability across their value chains. The projects involved recovering and upcycling materials more efficiently and optimizing energy efficiency in production processes. It was particularly interesting to learn about the open innovation and R&D processes of these manufacturing companies and see how strategically important priorities were reflected in the cases.

Minea Wallis-Brown: I had the chance to work on a diverse range of projects with Atlas Copco, Autoliv, Epiroc, Husqvarna Group, and Scania. The projects included improving quality control processes, reducing vehicle carbon emissions, and enhancing electric vehicle efficiency. I enjoyed the variety of topics, especially since I was not familiar with these industries before my internship.

Nicole Gustafsson: During my internship, I worked on cases for Husqvarna Group and Munters. In the beginning of the year, I delved into agriculture technologies for smallholder farmers and atmospheric water harvesting. In the spring we focused on alternative fuels for handheld devices and high-temperature production processes. All the projects emphasized sustainability, aligning my professional work with my personal interests.

What new skills or knowledge did you gain during your internship?

During our internship, we gained valuable skills and knowledge. We presented our own market research directly to clients, improved our presentation skills and our ability to convey complex information clearly and confidently. Through multiple one-on-one meetings and interviews with startup founders worldwide, we developed effective and professional communication skills.

We also developed our analytical skills by executing targeted market analysis and evaluating startup deal flow from extensive databases. The internship enhanced our self-leadership and diligence, as we were responsible for planning, setting, and achieving strategic goals. Overall, the responsibility given to us as interns at Combient Foundry provided us with a diverse skill set valuable for our future endeavors.

What were the biggest highlights of the internship?

The highlight of our internship was undoubtedly the Value Proposition Days conference in Stockholm. We witnessed the impact of our efforts in practice as startups were selected for pilot programs with major industrial companies. It was fascinating to follow the startup journey from initial contact to the pilot stage.

How would you describe Foundry as a work environment?

The work environment at Foundry is very relaxed yet highly motivating, where everyone encourages and supports each other to achieve their goals. As interns, we were able to make our voices heard and influence how things are done.

The small team size fostered a strong team spirit, and we got to know many team members well. We enjoyed various joint activities such as after-work events, an escape room, a fantastic offsite in Hanasaari, and a company marathon.

What was your typical day like as an intern at Foundry?

Our typical day began with setting daily goals, including tasks such as identifying and evaluating new startups, preparing presentation materials, and conducting topical research. As interns leading startup communication, we often spent our mornings managing emails and attending team meetings to review the current status of projects.

At Foundry, we always had lunch as a team, fostering a strong team spirit. With six interns in our cohort, we often enjoyed lunch together. After lunch, we focused on executing project-specific tasks to achieve our set goals.

Anything else you would like to share?

We highly recommend applying for an internship at Combient Foundry to anyone interested in the startup ecosystem and eager to learn about business development and strategic activities in large multinational corporations. This internship is perfect for those willing to step out of their comfort zone, regardless of their study background.

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