Published: Feb. 13, 2023
student talking with an employer

Startups offer many job and internship opportunities for CU Boulder students. As an innovation hub, the Denver and Boulder areas attract new businesses. Students benefit from the influx of companies seeking new employees to help their businesses thrive.


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Benefits of working for a startup


Startups are fast-paced environments where employees can use creativity to tackle problems and share ideas. They often implement innovative solutions and strategies. You have the opportunity to try things out and see what works.

Larger or more established companies can become bogged down by bureaucracy and established rules, but startups still need to develop their identity and ways of doing business. You can influence outcomes more at a startup.

Try out different roles

Startups are usually smaller than established companies, allowing employees to try different job functions. Everyone in the company contributes where they are needed. You may work on many different facets of the business within one role.

While it can feel overwhelming, it’s an excellent chance to expand your knowledge and experience. You can test out your skills and see firsthand what you enjoy. You may even discover job functions you don’t like or want to pursue. Startups offer excellent lessons for a budding career.


Most people who work in the startup community build networks with other startups, investors and supporters of entrepreneurship. These connections provide a rich pool of people to learn from and support each other.

Startups frequently connect to community organizations like accelerators or venture funds. Employees gain access to knowledgeable and talented people who can be resources down the line.

The startup community is fun! Just ask someone working at a startup. Many community events for startups are just as enjoyable as they are educational. Startups often live by the “work hard, play hard” mantra and have an infectious energy that drives innovation, community and fun.

Driven by passion

Startups fall into a wide variety of fields and industries. There are startups working on athletic performance, biotechnology, travel, virtual reality, digital currencies, lifestyle products and many more areas. You can likely find a startup trying to improve something related to your passion.

The people who work at startups are usually incredibly passionate about their work. They believe they can improve the world through new ideas and innovative solutions. If you are someone who enjoys working with driven people, startups are a great place to launch a career.

Challenges of working for a startup

Frequent changes

For students seeking a more consistent work environment or work that doesn’t change frequently, startups probably aren’t the right fit. A more established company may offer better stability, consistent expectations and job functions.

Startups require agile employees who don’t mind frequently shifting roles or changing projects. Your job may not look the same today as it will in a year. While many people enjoy that dynamic, others prefer a more predictable environment.

Less stable

Startups often do not offer the same level of job security as more established companies. While startups are a great place to learn and grow, they don’t always succeed in the long term. While no job is guaranteed to last forever, startups carry a higher risk of failure.

People working at startups must take on multiple responsibilities across job functions. The specific position you are hired for may shift or dissolve as the company changes. To work for a startup, you need flexibility and a willingness to adjust your expectations.

Explore careers at startups

Startups are amazing places to work. But, they aren’t for everyone. A startup might be a perfect fit for you if you want an innovative, fun, community-driven environment to grow your career.

CU Boulder has a variety of resources and programs to support students interested in a career or internship with a startup.