4 Things I Learned During My High Alpha Internship

by Lauren Becker

After 12 weeks as a member of the High Alpha Family, my marketing internship is coming to an end. It’s crazy considering it feels like only four weeks have passed.

Throughout my time on the marketing team, I got the opportunity to dig into various projects, including search engine optimization (SEO), portfolio-wide communication across internal and external channels, publishing articles for the High Alpha library, competitive analysis, and much more.

As a rising senior at Indiana University, I’m thankful for the depth and breadth of tactical knowledge that I gained. With each project I worked on, I was left with a better understanding of what direction I wanted to pursue in my career post-graduation. One thing is for sure — I definitely want to continue to work in the world of B2B SaaS. 

Whether you’re a rising senior (like me) interested in learning more about the B2B SaaS industry or someone interested in interning at High Alpha, below I’ll highlight four of the things I learned during my time on the High Alpha Marketing team. 

1. SEO is a nearly free marketing lever that takes time to build but compounds in impact over time.  

The High Alpha marketing team partners with Demandwell, a High Alpha Studio company, to implement an organic SEO strategy. While meeting with Betsy Koliba, our Demandwell SEO Consultant, I quickly learned why and how High Alpha creates content with SEO in mind.

Based on my observation, SEO is one of the only nearly-free marketing tools at your marketing team’s disposal. What makes it truly impactful is the fact that it is also one of the only compounding channels out there. A successful SEO strategy builds on itself, unlike other marketing channels (e.g., paid media, events). The more time you put into it and the earlier you create an SEO strategy, the more it will pay off in the long run.

2. The midwest is a great place to launch a SaaS company.

Despite being a California native in close proximity to San Francisco, my time at High Alpha was my first in-depth career experience within the B2B SaaS ecosystem. Not only did I help our studio companies with marketing initiatives, but I also got to opportunity to communicate news across the entire High Alpha portfolio. 

Each month, our marketing team sends out a portfolio-wide Slack update. Writing these monthly updates exposed me to the sheer amount of exciting things happening across the High Alpha network, including events, thought leadership, fundraising, acquisitions, and new hires.

While High Alpha invests in companies across the globe, they have a strong foothold in the midwest. As a wrote each update, I was constantly impressed with just how much was happening and how fast-paced our companies moved. This also opened my eyes to how much innovation is happening outside of Silicon Valley.

3. You don’t need to wait for inspiration to strike to develop an idea for a SaaS company. 

At High Alpha, we don’t just invest in SaaS companies. We also conceive and launch them using our proprietary Sprint Week process. Each quarter, our team runs three to five business ideas through this four-day process, compressing the amount of time it takes to identify, validate, and launch a new enterprise software business.

During my internship, I was a part of a Sprint Week team led by High Alpha Partner Mike Fitzgerald. I experienced first-hand that you don’t need to wait for inspiration to strike to come up with a credible company idea. Instead, if you dedicate time to researching whitespace in different industries, you’ll uncover opportunities for software to solve a problem.  

Everything from our interviews to industry research showed me that it’s easy to find a wedge within a market. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to jump in when needed, including presenting part of our idea in front of the entire company. Being a part of this process left me energized and excited about the world of startups and solidified my future in this space.

4. Everyone has a story to tell and a unique perspective to share.

High Alpha’s entire team from finance to design and HR/talent comes together to create thought leadership for the High Alpha Library. Even as an intern, my expectations for thought leadership output were the same as any other member of the High Alpha Team. So, I wrote numerous articles (like this one) for the High Alpha Library and shared the stories of High Alpha Navigators and event speakers in addition to my own.  

One of the most rewarding parts of this internship was seeing two of my pieces rank the highest in views on the High Alpha website. I felt a sense of pride in my work that motivated me to keep pushing for more. Below are both of the pieces I mentioned: 

Overall, I’m fortunate to have this experience going into my senior year at Indiana University. While I learned a lot of tangible marketing skills, I also learned how important people are to an organization. Having incredible teammates throughout my projects transformed my experience and made my work rewarding. I’m so thankful for Katherine Martin, Drew Beechler, Mollie Kuramoto, and everyone at High Alpha. I cannot wait to take these lessons with me throughout my entire career.

Thank you to the High Alpha Family!