In both of my start-ups, my top “intern” went on to play a Director-level role and have a critical impact on our success.
Later, when you are bigger, interns become just part of a large, complex hiring funnel.
But in the early days, when having someone extra that is (x) smart, (y) committed, and (z) has chutzpah can help a lot … done right, an intern can actually move a needle.
I’m biased in the early days in favor of “experienced” interns in a transition, i.e. getting an MBA, or transitioning from one role to another, or transitioning back into the workforce sometime.