Martin Ha is teaching himself the computer language Python, taking classes in web development and HTML, and spending his summer analyzing marketing data under the tutelage of the Chief Marketing Officer of Devada.
And Ha is just 16. The Havelock, N.C. resident is one of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics 2019 Entrepreneurship Fellows. The program placed nine rising NCSSM seniors into early-stage companies for a five-week internship. The purpose is to foster the next generation of N.C. entrepreneurs with this generation’s best and brightest high school students.
Fellows get a taste of the practical knowledge they’ll need to start and scale tech companies. The program also helps encourage an entrepreneurial mindset by getting the students involved with the local early-stage companies.
NCSSM is a public residential high school located in Durham. The school enrolls ambitious and technically minded juniors and seniors from across N.C. NCSSM is consistently ranked in the top tier of American high schools.
NCSSM has a long tradition of producing successful local tech entrepreneurs. Familiar names include Carl Ryden ‘89 (PrecisionLender); Erik Troan ‘92 (RPath, Pendo); Scot Ogle ‘93 (SageWorks); Jud Bowman ‘99 (Motricity, Appia, Sift). And don’t forget the new graduates Shradda Hathod ‘14 (FreshSpire) and Mona Amin ‘14 (FreshSpire).
To continue that tradition, Bronto founder Joe Colopy helped start the entrepreneurship program — the kind of program he would have appreciated as part of his high school education. He recruited Devada CMO Susan Wall as a senior mentor for two of this year’s interns.
“Even though our company has been around a few years, we are very much an early stage company, building out processes to scale the business,’’ says Wall. “The interns are helping us identify key trends where we have seen success. In exchange, we’re providing exposure to how a business thinks about challenges and charts its road to success. Helping us solve real-world business problems gives them a peek into what it takes to run a successful organization.”
Devada is a media and software company, serving 29 million readers through its DZone publishing site and offering the AnswerHub developer community Saas platform. Devada’s client roster includes well-known names such as Disney’s Pixar, Red Hat, and IBM.
Exploring Data-Driven Marketing
Ha is joined at Devada by Robert Dimitrov, a rising senior at NCSSM who is from Charlotte, N.C. Dimitrov wants a career in business. He is getting real-world experience by studying which DZone advertisements are succeeding in encouraging visitors to become DZone members. And more importantly, his analysis will help answer the question of why?
“It’s really interesting learning Google Analytics and putting it to use while looking at all the dimensions that impact the success of the house ads. I’m learning about all the things that go into digital advertisements,” Dimitrov says.
Ha is analyzing lead data to identify which sources perform best for marketing in terms of delivering qualified leads to Devada’s media and software sales teams. “I’m learning how to work in Salesforce and understanding how a data-driven and automation-focused marketing team works,” Ha says. “I didn’t know how much work goes into determining what companies and people a salesperson should call on.”
“We’re excited about having the interns work with us because we want to give back to the community and help grow the next generation of business leaders,” Wall says. “It has been a fun summer working with these multi-talented young men.”