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Deadline looms for $60,000 Silicon Valley internship programme

PE

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Candidates have until 1 February to apply to take part in scheme which encourages software engineers to become entrepreneurs

The deadline is looming for applications to take part in a new scheme that gives British software engineers the chance to work for technology start-ups in Silicon Valley.

Successful applicants will get the chance to work for a year at the start-ups while being paid a $60,000 salary plus travel expenses. Their visas will be arranged and they will benefit from the guidance of a mentor.

Michael Hughes, a graduate of the Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) scheme, has set up the programme in the hope that it will inspire young engineers to become entrepreneurs. 

He told PE: “Silicon Valley remains one of the most important regions in the world for the development of new technology businesses. Many of the companies that are pushing the dial globally are based there. We wanted to give British engineers the chance to experience working for start-up companies in the valley. The hope is that they will become the entrepreneurs of the future, helping to build new businesses back home.”

Hughes acknowledged that developing a start-up could be daunting. “We hope to encourage these engineers to become entrepreneurs rather than taking the 'safe option' of going into banking or accountancy, for example.”

The Silicon Valley Internship Programme is backed by the British Consulate and British American Business Council. 

All UK citizens graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in computer science, software engineering or a related discipline are eligible for the internship. 

Applications are open until 1 February, after which the assessment process begins. Successful candidates will be matched with one of the nine companies taking part in early February and they will leave for Silicon Valley in the summer.

Hughes said he hoped that some of the successful applicants to the scheme would go on to take part in SMF, which funds MBA programmes for young engineers.

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