Bringing in new talent via internship programs


MotorSkins and CIEE work together to cultivate a culture of learning and collaboration through the CIEE intercultural internship program. Learn how MotorSkins grew by bringing in young talent and what opportunities our partnership with CIEE can offer you and your startup.

MotorSkins and CIEE work together to cultivate a culture of learning and collaboration through the CIEE intercultural internship program. Learn how MotorSkins grew by bringing in young talent and what opportunities our partnership with CIEE can offer you and your startup.

MotorSkins co-founders, Facundo Gutierrez and Juan Optiz-Silva are on a mission to revolutionize human-machine interfaces and interactions through soft-robotic textiles. In other words, they are creating smart textiles and wearable robots with various applications, including medical and sports garments, automotive, and gaming devices, among others.

Over the past 5 years, they have built a diverse team of experts in soft robotics, design, chemical engineering, business development, materials science, biophysics, and hardware engineering. They are also providing internship opportunities for young designers and engineers to grow and learn alongside them. 

However, as any startup founder will tell you, the entrepreneurial journey is filled with ups and downs, pivoting, iterating, and learning from failures. As first-time founders, Juan and Facundo found that connecting to MotionLab.Berlin near the beginning of their startup journey proved pivotal in easing some of their early growing pains.

This is MotorSkins on our "How to host a intern?" Community event at MotionLab.Berlin eventlocation in Berlin.
© MotorSkins


Before moving into their MakerGarage at MotionLab.Berlin in 2019, “We had another office space but it was only about desks, wifi, and coffee,” the founders reflect. “Moving into MotionLab Berlin allowed us access to tools and equipment for hardware prototyping. Here, we could leverage cost-effective shared resources to accelerate development, refine prototypes, and improve production processes.”

Additionally, the opportunity to build strong partnerships and be part of a like-minded community proved to be invaluable in navigating challenges and discovering possibilities. 

“The networking opportunities within MotionLab.Berlin includes potential partners, investors, and customers. Being part of this community has facilitated collaboration and knowledge-sharing with other innovators, fostering learning from others’ experiences and expertise. It has also enhanced our capabilities, visibility, and growth potential. The community is also a place full of people who understand the struggles you are going through and who will be the first to celebrate every win with you.”

Collaboration, creativity, and openness are at the core of the MotorSkins team culture, which has been “instrumental in overcoming obstacles and achieving milestones”, the founders say. Part of this spirit is embodied by their younger team members—the engineering students they welcome for short-term internships.


Enter CIEE, an American education nonprofit on a mission to connect Berlin’s startup ecosystem with motivated, skilled students via internship programs. “Interns are just young professionals waiting for a chance to excel. You’d be surprised what they can do if you give them just enough trust and independence,” the MotorSkins team says. “They are still learning, so guidance is important, but hosting interns can really foster a culture of learning and growth within the organization. For us, they bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table, contributing to our culture of creativity and innovation. We give them the tools and the space to make the projects their own and when we do, they shine.”

The growing partnership between MotionLab.Berlin and CIEE facilitates hassle-free internship programs that fit different startup’s working styles. “The process is simple, reliable, and unbureaucratic, and the quality of the skills the students have brought to the table has been excellent.” Says MotorSkins.

It truly is a win-win for all involved. The team at MotionLab.Berlin is always happy to see fresh faces bringing new ideas and enthusiasm into the hub – especially when it comes to enabling further growth and opportunities for the startups and founders in the community.

The interns also benefit from the opportunity to develop new skills, experience an innovative and unique environment, and connect with skilled professionals during networking events – or even just over lunch in the communal spaces around the hardtech innovation hub.

This was the CIEE community event, where our hardtech startup community was able to ask all their questions on the internship program of CIEE.
Host your event at our eventlocation in the middle of our maker & coworking space Berlin.


In looking back on their first intern hosting experience, the MotorSkins team agrees that the win-win experience perfectly embodied the spirit of collaboration that is an integral part of their DNA. They offer some guiding thoughts for anyone curious about bringing interns on board:

“Embracing interns can significantly enrich your company, much like it has for MotorSkins. Interns bring fresh, global perspectives and a drive that can invigorate your team and spark innovation. We would recommend providing challenging, relevant projects and fostering a supportive environment that promotes professional growth and integration. Open communication and clear expectations are key to a rewarding experience for both parties. Consider the internship program as temporary placements and opportunities to discover future talents who could become valuable long-term assets to your organization. You can enhance your company’s creativity, inclusivity, and global reach by leveraging the diverse insights and skills these interns offer.”


CIEE is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange and internship program  organization that has been bringing the world together since 1947—by building bridges between people, countries, and cultures. Check this out or reach out to to learn more about partnering with CIEE on hosting interns and other initiatives. 

The collaboration between MotorSkins and CIEE through the intercultural internship program has yielded a lot of advantages, showcasing the potential for startups to bring in new talent through such programs. By embracing interns, MotorSkins has nurtured a culture of learning, collaboration and growth while contributing to the broader startup community. The opportunities and benefits that our partnership with CIEE offers you and your startup are underlined by MotorSkins’ many positive experiences and will foster a dynamic culture of innovation and learning.