What It Does: Internship placement consultancy
Founder: Lauren Berger, 25
Web Site: www.internqueen.com
Based: Los Angeles
While earning her degree at the University of Central Florida, Lauren Berger says she completed 15 internships in four years. After graduating in 2006 she began helping the children of her parents' friends land internships. Soon, the idea to start a consulting business was born. But first Berger had to pay the bills, so she moved to Los Angeles and worked as an assistant at top talent agency Creative Artists Agency. While there, Berger met movie producer and director Marshall Herskovitz (Thirtysomething, The Last Samurai), who liked her concept and backed her financially for one year.
Last September, Berger launched her company—Herskovitz has a 12% stake—offering to vet potential applicants and match them with more than 500 companies from across the country that pay to list on her Web site. Berger says what sets her service apart is the personal attention—she and her small band of interns review every application and Berger personally forwards the application materials to her contact at each company. Potential interns can apply for one slot gratis to get a feel for the service. They pay $3 for every subsequent application; employers pay an annual fee of $75 for unlimited listings. In the last year, Berger says she had about $100,000 in revenue and expects to double that to $200,000 next year. A regular on the college speaking circuit, she is also planning to expand into Canada and is exploring endorsement deals with Microsoft (MSFT) and Payless Shoes.