Margaret Santinelli ’18 gained firsthand knowledge of the start-up world this summer by working with the agriculture technology company SeedSheet. Serving as a marketing and sales intern, Santinelli aided the growing new business while learning how to run a successful startup.
“My daily activities included writing blogs for tutorials and recipes to go on our website, helping film tutorial videos for thinning and harvesting of our plants, photographing our gardens in our studio and outside around town, as well as monitoring our Instagram and preparing daily posts,” says Santinelli, an environmental studies major with a minor in education.
Created by Middlebury College graduate Cam MacKulger, SeedSheet is a product comprised of weed-resistant fabric that contains pouches with seeds and soil welded into the fabric. SeedSheet comes in two sizes: a 12-inch container garden and a 4 x 8 raised bed, allowing customers to customize the size of their garden.
SeedSheet was recently featured on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.” Having received $500,000 from investor Lori Greiner, Santinelli says it was interesting to see how helpful the media exposure was for the company’s growth.
Santinelli, who is an HWS EcoRep, first became interested in startups last summer after attending Middcore, a summer program run by Middlebury College that was focused on entrepreneurship and leadership. After one of the mentors from MiddCore, Mike Kiernan, introduced Santinelli to MacKugler, she was eager to join the new business.
“I have always had a passion for nutrition, so as I gear my academic studies toward a nutritional and sustainable foods background I have enjoyed being able to learn about the nutritional values of growing a SeedSheet garden,” says Santinelli.
Looking to the future, Santinelli says that she feels confident and prepared to pursue her own startup after graduation.
“At the beginning of my internship I had hoped to gain knowledge about startups and understand how a small business can successfully grow like Seedsheet has in the past few years, as well as learn marketing and sales skills that will help me in future job opportunities,” says Santinelli. “I can happily say I have learned everything I set out to and so much more from my colleagues at SeedSheet.”