Accelerators / Venture capital

What it’s like to intern at 500 Startups, according to a recent Johns Hopkins grad

Demilade Obayomi offers some parting thoughts on the world of venture capital as he heads off to Goldman Sachs.

Demilade Obayomi (left), just before graduation, with his A-Level Capital cofounder Elizabeth Galbut. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Before he started his first job out of college working for Goldman Sachs in New York, Demilade Obayomi had about a month to kill. En route to the center of investment banking, he ended up making a stopover in the center of venture capital investment.
“On May 27th, I received a call from Sean Percival offering me the opportunity to join 500 Startups as an intern working on the GA / 500 Pre-Accelerator Program,” Obayomi writes in a Medium post. “Sean probably did not realize the timeliness of his call. I would have to vacate my apartment in Baltimore in 4 days and had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to live for the next four weeks.”
Read the full post
The post offers a window into 500 Startups from Obayomi, who left Baltimore after finishing up undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins in May and helping start the university’s new student-run venture fund, A-Level Capital (Get in touch at During his time at the Silicon Valley seed fund and accelerator, Obayomi got to meet some VC heavyweights, and experience the “Have Fun Get Shit Done” culture.
After reading the post, we asked him about a highlight. The reply, via email, is below.

Watching the founders in the Pre-Accelerator program grow was very rewarding. For example, one of the first things we had each founder do was pitch his / her company to the rest of the participants. Some of the founders were nervous and couldn’t convey the value of their business in the short time allotted for each pitch. Four weeks later, our founders were able to deliver their pitches in front of their peers and others who attended the Demo Day event we held for them. It was great to see them put in the work to get their pitches in shape and have the confidence to deliver in front of an audience.

A fellow JHU alum also seems impressed:

Companies: Bio-Rad Laboratories / 500 Startups

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