A Chicago area startup just won the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s annual “Pitch for Purpose” competition.
Symba CEO Ahva Sadeghi said she plans to invest the $15,000 grand prize money in building a mobile app for her remote internship management platform, which she aims to launch in early 2021. In addition to the grand prize funds, Symba will also receive mentorship from event partner and tech incubator SEED SPOT. The startup’s grand prize win was announced on Thursday, and the funds are provided by Tata Consultancy Services, which co-sponsored the Chamber’s annual social good tech competition.
“Making sure that students have access early on will eventually affect who sits on your leadership board, who’s a part of the C-suite,” Sadeghi told Built In. “I’ve experienced this in my own career, it’s a domino effect, it’s like when one door opens, all of a sudden, you get access to so much more.”
Sadeghi co-founded Symba in 2017, with the idea for the startup coming from her own professional experience. Growing up in Arizona, Sadeghi said she viewed remote internships as an affordable way to access professional experience without having to relocate from Tucson. Her freshman year of college she applied to more than 100 virtual positions — spending hours searching the web and viewing disjointed sites — and was rejected from them all.
“It’s like you need experience to