Straight from the Hearth: Retrospective

May 6, 2021

FORGE intern Shaw Zeider here dropping in with another guest edition of Straight from the Hearth!

[This article references the previous article by Shaw Zeider, Lemonade Stands.]

Time flies when you are doing something you enjoy and that has been true of my time at Arizona FORGE. Over the past 7 months, I have been able to expand my entrepreneurial thinking greatly and work on many impactful projects. As my internship comes to an end, I would like to reflect on this experience. Six months ago I wrote a column entitled Lemonade Stands. In it, I outlined 4 main goals I wished to learn and experience firsthand. These goals were:

  • Seeing the process of an idea turn into a product then into a company
  • Understanding how different founders think and work
  • Being able to see projects and processes I had an impact on grow and blossom
  • How FORGE evolves

I can say that during my time as FORGE Student Entrepreneurial Fellow all the goals listed above were met.

At the start of my internship, I knew I was interested in entrepreneurship but didn’t have an idea of what it looked like.

Through my experiences with Arizona FORGE, I have been given a firsthand view of seeing ideas turn into products then into companies.

I have been fortunate to work with companies across all stages during my time as Fellow. I particularly enjoyed working with the participants of the Advanced Entrepreneur Program. Those entrepreneurs are typically in the idea/product stage and the sheer enthusiasm they have is exciting to work with. When helping them, I was expanding my knowledge in new categories.

The highlight of my experience was working with the founders we have at Arizona FORGE. By working closely with them I have been exposed to many different work styles and personalities. For example, Chuck Phillips of Scintillation Nanotechnologies. From him, I see the diligence one must-have for the competitive environment. From Brad Dreifuss (HCW Hosted) I understand the drive and passion for a successful venture. Learning from working closely with others is something I have been able to experience. These experiences have left a mark on me and hopefully I have been able to leave a positive mark on the founders I have worked with.

Through my 7 months on this journey, I have been able to witness my projects grow two-fold, externally and internally. Internally, I have been astounded by the amount of impact and responsibility I have been given. These internal projects I have been working on have helped flesh out what FORGE’s role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem is. A few of these kickoff relatively soon, so I am very excited on that front. Externally, I have seen my work directly support the companies at Arizona FORGE.

Being able to have actionable data and providing insights to founders has been a unique experience as a college sophomore.

I want to thank all the founders who have accepted me and are always eager to teach and help me grow. I often hear horror stories of interns filing papers or fetching coffee, but I have been happy to report I have been able to work on many actionable and real tasks.

Lastly, I have been able to enjoy seeing how FORGE evolves and where it is at now compared to even a few months ago. A major aspect of what interested me in this position was the large impact that can be made, even as an intern, early on in a company’s life. The most apparent evolution I have been able to see and take part in is the campus presence FORGE is building this year. Through student challenges and the hiring of a new FORGE at UA Program Manager, FORGE at UA is growing and having a major impact. The possibilities for growth on campus will have a huge impact on the students at the University of Arizona. I am excited to see how FORGE expands on and off-campus. Through these advancements, I believe the best is yet to come.


Looking retrospectively, I want to thank everyone at Arizona FORGE and the people I have been able to work with. Arizona FORGE has allowed me to contribute to real, impactful tasks and broaden my horizons.

- Shaw Zeider, Student Entrepreunrial Fellow


Shaw Zeider is the Student Entrepreneurial Fellow intern at Arizona FORGE. Shaw is also a sophomore at the UArizona majoring in Finance and Management Information Systems.