How Forge uses Pipedrive to help students find their dream tech internships

Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Forge is an educational talent accelerator committed to helping students all over the US find internships in tech companies, providing the affordable training students need before beginning their placement.

  • Industry: Education/non-profit
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA
  • Key feature: Email integration

Following their internships, students often go on to acquire positions in some of the biggest tech companies, like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. Forge also uses its revenue to fund free tech workshops and its Impact program, which provides non-profits and charities with free tech tools and interns.

63%

Since adopting Pipedrive, annual intern numbers have grown by two-thirds

5

Members of the Forge team are using Pipedrive

How Forge began

Forge started six years ago as a student-run and organized project, with both courses and training taught by students for students.

Since then it has taken on board five dedicated full-time staff and has expanded its range from Virginia to the rest of the US, teaching and training students online. Now, Forge is seeing year-on-year growth in the interns it has placed at tech companies.

In short, we connect students to tech internships, giving students paid hands-on experience in their field of choice. During the academic year, our students can teach and take cutting-edge tech courses, which we make as accessible as possible.
Our courses are really affordable and we provide no-questions-asked financial aid. With our internships, students can come in and participate with little upfront cost. If accepted into the program, students go through three weeks of intense bootcamp training and we actually pair them up with a guaranteed paid internship for nine weeks. Students get to jump into an industry of their choice (data science, UX, digital marketing, or software engineering), ready to hit the ground running with the training they have received.
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Angela KoukoulasDirector of Partnerships at Forge

Pipedrive helps me with the interpersonal part of sales. I can go back and assess the company’s communications with us in the past, even if the employee they initially spoke with is no longer at Forge. This way I can walk into a meeting with a company partner I’ve never met and we can still be on the same page.
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Angela KoukoulasDirector of Partnerships at Forge

The challenges Forge faced

Beginning as a student-run company, Forge needed a way to keep its sales database centralized. As students would eventually graduate and Forge’s early areas of focus could pivot, they ran the risk of data being lost or becoming inaccessible.

The turnover of students meant communications with businesses interested in interns could be locked in inboxes of people no longer at the company, leaving the team in the dark.

Another issue facing the team was the amount of menial manual work that had to be done as companies moved through the pipeline. From having to write out emails and forms for each partnership to updating the database, this was time-consuming work for people who were short on time.

How Pipedrive saves Forge time so it can focus on training interns

For me, it’s the most accessible and most organized database that we have for our company partners. Everything is centralized and visible in Pipedrive.
We have a few integrations that are wildly helpful and save me time. By integrating Zapier and Pipedrive, I can create a partnership agreement and send it to the company partner all in Pipedrive’s interface, instead of going to PandaDoc and manually typing in everything – I just have to click and drag through Pipelines, so that’s really helpful.
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Angela KoukoulasDirector of Partnerships at Forge

Forge started using Pipedrive as their CRM in 2017 and the benefits have been huge.

By providing a centralized database, Forge no longer has to worry about losing data and communications about their customers, as now all its data is available to anyone who needs it.

If Forge has had any previous conversations with businesses, they can immediately see what was said and what the position the business is in.

And by having access to plenty of useful integrations, Pipedrive saves Forge huge amounts of time by linking to apps like PandaDoc and automating admin work that would normally have to be done manually.

Forge also uses its revenue to provide free workshops, as well as tools and interns to charities and non-profits. Being able to accurately forecast through their Pipedrive pipeline view means they know how many projects they can commit to.

Director of Partnerships Angela Koukoulas joined the Forge team four months ago to handle sales. She says that onboarding herself was a breeze, versus some of the other CRMs she had previously used that needed training to understand.

She has even found ways of sequencing her emails out to potential partners through integrating Gmail with her pipeline stages, to save even more time.

Since Forge adopted Pipedrive, its yearly amount of successful interns has risen by 63% from 2017 to 2021. With Pipedrive helping the team keep their data organized and save time, they hope to see those numbers keep rising, helping students intern in their dream industry.

Pipedrive is a solution to what would otherwise be a decentralized sales database.
Pipedrive makes it really easy to tag staff and students in as we need them during busy seasons. It provides all the information needed about past and potential partners. We use our Launch revenue to fund other projects like free tech workshops and our Impact program, which provides non-profits and charities with free tech tools and interns. By analyzing Pipedrive columns we can make better estimates, giving us early insight into how many Impact programs we can commit to.
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Angela KoukoulasDirector of Partnerships at Forge

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