BOSTON WILL BLOW YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL MIND
@jor999 – Almost a year ago, I arrived to Babson; exited about the amazing opportunity I had to study in the #1 Entrepreneurship graduate program in the world (http://goo.gl/zc6EZ). I knew that my stay in Boston, one of the most innovative clusters in the world, would be an adventure completely outside of my comfort zone. Throughout almost one year, I decided to stretch time as much as possible to be able to take the most out of 1 year at the time that I managed other priorities.
If you’re reading this, my guess is you are an entrepreneur or are in the process of becoming one. In any case, you’ll need to juggle and manage your priorities in order to take the most out of this one in a life time opportunity. On my priority tray I had: the one year MBA school load, an early stage startup operation (Plaiding), and the most important, amazing wife and son. Sounds like difficult passions to balance, since they all require time, but it is doable if you plan some time in advanced.
If you are a passionate entrepreneur like me, specifically in the startup world, here’s a list of events and things you might want to consider in order to let Boston and its entrepreneurship environment blow your mind. (Please feel free to leave other events you recommend on the comment area at the end).
PLACES: I used these places as sources of inspiration, working spaces, networking sources, and just general culture visits.
- The Blank Center – http://goo.gl/5JDZK – A resource for Babson students. Subscribe to their mailing list to be aware of all the resources the center offers. (Seed funding, networking events, competitions, and others)
- Olin College – http://www.olin.edu/campus/ – Walking distance from Babson, just next door. If you’re looking for technical partners, you could find good talent there. Also, food is cheap, so going for lunch is a good way of meeting technical talent just next door to Babson.
- Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) – http://cic.us – here you’ll find the Venture café.
- Microsoft NERD Center – http://microsoftnewengland.com/ – One of the most amazing views of the city in an amazing co working space
- Martin Trust Center for MIT entrepreneurship – https://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/ – Really small and modest place, but amazing people.
- Harvard i-lab – http://i-lab.harvard.edu/ – The most innovative co working space I went to. If you find someone from Harvard to partner with, you can even get a permanent access to the co working space; otherwise they have open monthly events.
- MassChallenge – http://www.masschallenge.org – A quick visit will inspire you to apply for their accelerator. Amazing view of the Innovation district.
RECURRENT EVENTS: Something you may want to plan to do every two to three weeks.
- Venture Café – http://www.vencaf.org/ – every Thursday at the CIC in Cambridge. Free beer and the perfect place to Network outside of your university.
ONE TIME EVENTS: Be aware of dates because most of these events are once a year and you won’t want to miss them.
- HackMIT : http://www.hackmit.org/ – It is for programmers only, but come on, you’re an entrepreneur, be creative and apply anyways. It was an awesome experience for me.
- TechCrunch meet ups – http://techcrunch.com/tag/boston/ TechCrunch comes to Boston once or twice a year. You can go to the event to network and you could also register for a 60 second pitch if you have enough courage.
- New England Venture Summit – http://goo.gl/fuquZ8 I Volunteered for these event in order to meet some people I was interested in. I found good talent and a bunch of VCs.
- BIF (Business Innovation Factory) – http://www.businessinnovationfactory.com A story telling event that will inspire you! Completely recommended. This TED talk type events are expensive but Babson entrepreneurship professors could help you get in for free. The event organizers also offer scholarships to students.
COMPETITIONS / ACCELERATORS
- Lean Startup Challenge – http://www.leanstartupchallenge.com/
- B.E.T.A Challenge (Babson) – http://goo.gl/vr8oDX
- MIT startup pitching competition – the link changes every year
- Mass Challenge – http://masschallenge.org/accelerator
- TechStars – http://www.techstars.com/program/locations/boston/
This list is just a fraction of what you could do, Boston entrepreneurship scene is completely overwhelming. There is definitely more than you can take, so you’ll have to manage your time and agenda to take the most out of it. I used 4 sources of information to monthly decide what to do and where to go.
1. A list I got from friends in other Universities and Babson alumni.
2. Download the EventBrite app – I checked every Sunday for events of the week
3. Visit: http://venturefizz.com/ events – great compilation of entrepreneurship events in Boston area.
4. Networking – Talk to other students (Babson and other Universities) or local entrepreneurs to make sure I didn’t miss out the best events.
Now I’m following the tradition, I’m giving you a tool to start designing your Babson / Boston experience; you do the rest and share!
******************** Other recommended but I didn’t go
Boston New Tech Meetup http://www.meetup.com/Boston_New_Technology/
Mass Innovation Nights http://mass.innovationnights.com/innovation-nights-events
Web Innovators Group http://www.webinnovatorsgroup.com/
Brickyard Collaboration Spacehttp://www.brickyardcollaborationspace.com/
Dogpatch Labs http://dogpatchlabs.com/
Koa Labs http://www.koalab.com/
Space Without a Soul