I did a lecture in a the Imperial College of London last week, and a student asked me how she could get closer to the startup ecosystem ; So here are a few things you can do too :
As a student, you have a perfect excuse to get in touch with a startup you are intrigued about. Ask for a 30mn Skype call to interview them, pretending it's for a report for the school. Don't waste their and your time though, come prepared with thoughtful questions to make the most of this call.
Find similar ones via Crunch Base, V.C. or startup accelerators. Or use the free month trial of the excellent CB insights to see the ones who backs the themes you like.
A student I met last year use the above technic to interview a dozen of them, saying she was writing a report on how they made their investment decisions. She was in fact willing to get a job at a VC and that's how she progressively built knowledge, credibility, and connections in that very closed sector.
Look for the job board of Angel list and offer yourself for 2 weeks of work during your holiday break. Most startup accelerators have some, for ex Techstars in multiple locations, Seedcamp in London and Berlin, and the Family in France (check out their free training program here as well)
Join (or hack your way in) meet ups. Find them by via your local startup accelerators mailing list or specialized facebook groups. When I say hack, just show up even if it's "invitation only", nobody will check if you are on the list of not
Got other tips to share? Let me know and I'll re-post for others to benefit from.
To a great week end,