Startup PHL-backed tech internships hope to fight brain drain

July 31, 2013 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

Campus Philly’s research points to a link between internships and talent retention. According to a 2010 Campus Philly survey of 4,600 undergraduates, graduates and alumni, 70 percent of alumni who stayed in Philly for a year or more after graduation had a summer internship in Greater Philadelphia.

The answer to Philadelphia’s brain drain problem didn’t seem so complicated at Bliss on Broad Street, where Mayor Michael Nutter had lunch with eight students who were interning at local tech companies through a program funded by the Nutter administration’s StartupPHL program.

“What would make you leave Philadelphia?” asked Rob Weber, cofounder of AgileSwitch, one of the companies hosting the interns.

After a brief pause, the whole table — students from Penn, Haverford, Temple and Penn State — agreed: “If I couldn’t find a job.”

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