Halstrom ’22 Completes Internships with Two Local Startup Companies – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Halstrom ’22 Completes Internships with Two Local Startup Companies

This semester, Joe Halstrom ’22, an economics major and entrepreneurial studies minor, completed two independent study internships with two local startup companies.

At Instant Input, a mobile technology service that lets citizens engage on community projects, and SmootherNutrition, a meal plan and food delivery service, Joe Halstrom ’22 held internships this fall where he created business development plans, offered customer targeting ideas and joined brain storming sessions with the companies’ leaders.

A native of Fort Collins, Colo., Halstrom says the idea for interning at startup companies came to him after he completed the “Entrepreneurial Studies Capstone” course with Ed Bizari, Entrepreneurial Fellow at the Centennial Center.

“My capstone course made me want to try building a business in the real world,” says Halstrom. “It was exciting to work on developing companies that are at such an early stage.”

Under the guidance of Bizari, he targeted the companies by reaching out to NextCorps, a startup incubator in Rochester that is affiliated with the University of Rochester. NextCorps connected him with the owners of Instant Input and SmootherNutrition, two new businesses that were just beginning to grow and had many opportunities where he could contribute, he says.

After introductions to the owners and identifying a set of tasks for his independent study work, Halstrom began creating strategies for business development and customer targeting, reviewing financials and participating in brain-storming sessions. He also regularly met with Bizari for advisement on his projects and productivity.

At the end of the semester, Halstrom constructed and delivered, over Zoom, a summary report with recommendations to the founders of each company.

Instant Input Founder Tanya Zwahlen and SmootherNutrition COO Mike Maher were pleased with Halstrom’s findings and initiative.

“Joe quickly picked up several tasks and helped us develop a better understanding of potential customers outside of the greater Rochester region, which will greatly help with our growth phase in 2022,” says Maher.

On campus, Halstrom is a member of Statesmen hockey team and the International Honors Society of Economics. He also worked as a summer sales intern at Arthur J. Gallagher in the property and casualty division in Denver.