Venture capital is about nourishing the growth of highly promising young companies to help build a better economic future. So I was naturally pleased to host a group of summer interns at Claremont Creek recently because they were interested in learning more about venture and how we work.
The group has been involved with the Community Internship Program at ShotSpotter, a Claremont Creek portfolio company and the market leader in gunshot detection and location technology. The program helps urban high school and college undergraduates get a feel for real world opportunities, including a look at careers in technology companies, as well as collaboration experiences with city services.
The four-person group started its “Day in Oakland” program on August 17 at Claremont Creek Ventures, where it got an overview of private investment, portfolio selection and management. Then the group met with officials at Oakland City Hall and took a tour of City Hall, followed by a tour of the Oakland Police Department, courtesy of Oakland Police Capt. Ersie Joyner.
ShotSpotter is a proud partner of the Oakland Police Department and a great example of a company helping a community with involvement beyond commercial ties. Program mentor Doris Cohen, a ShotSpotter gunshot forensic analyst, explains it best. “The steps we take today will shape and mold our youth for tomorrow,” she says. “It is an honor and responsibility to provide youth with tools to navigate through life in ways that will benefit them and the people they will influence. We owe it to them, ourselves and society.”
Program participants were Kristen Robinson, a junior at Skyline High School; Austin Brown, a senior at Skyline; Bakare Awakoaiye, a sophomore at Bishop O'Dowd High School; and Carl Horsley, a sophomore at California State University at Northridge.
Instrumental in the Community Internship Program's genesis were ShotSpotter CEO and President Ralph A. Clark, San Francisco Police Commander Mikail Ali and Jamal Cooks, director of the C.A. Track Club, a non-profit youth track and field team that provides mentorship opportunities for local youth.