Posts tagged boston
Posts tagged boston
Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month (and January 17th is actually Thank Your Mentor Day)? I’m that person that’ll willingly to sit down with most anyone and talk about my career, but when I used to think ‘mentor’, I always pictured Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Kinda weird, but I thought that maybe after I traveled the world and gained every last drop of knowledge, I would be fit (physically and mentally) to be a mentor. Then at one point last year, I saw the balance starting to tip, where I had more answers than questions (that day). And that’s when I said yes to mentoring for Technovation Challenge, my very first weekly mentoring commitment. I’ve been hooked ever since.
It feels like there’s a pre-conceived notion of what a mentor is, based on age and where they are in their career, but it’s not necessarily about being an expert. It’s about being open and willing to share your experiences. Here are a few opportunities to become a mentor (with varying commitments) for people that are in Boston and beyond:
BUILD [Boston, San Francisco, DC] - “BUILD’s mission is to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success.” The part I find incredible is that to date, 99% of BUILD seniors have graduated from high school and have been accepted to college. BUILD just had an event at MassChallenge last night, so I had the privilege of hearing startup pitches from some impressive high school freshmen that have just entered this 4 year program. The time commitment for mentors is 2 hours a week during the academic year. They also have other ways you can get involved too (click here for more info).
MassChallenge [Boston] - MassChallenge, a global competition and accelerator for early-stage entrepreneurs, has been Vsnap’s home for awhile, so we’ve had dozens of opportunities to connect and meet many of the MC mentors. Mentoring is such a big part of the accelerator, they even have a Chief Mentorship Officer (the very awesome Karl Büttner). They’re looking for established entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers, and technical experts to mentor the 125 startups that will be entering the accelerator in June. The commitment is 1 hour every other week per team mentored, for three months (July through September). To apply to be a MassChallenge mentor, click here.
John Hancock’s MLK Summer Scholars [Boston] - MLK Summer Scholars is a partnership between the Boston Globe, Boston University, Partners HealthCare and the City of Boston. The program provides funding to a local community-based not-for-profit for the scholars to work at, and during that period the youth, 16-19, also attend weekly sessions with mentors. Each week, they hear a keynote from an industry professional, then break into small groups where they talk about everything from global responsibility to finding money for college to creating a personal brand. The commitment is that mentors (also referred to as table facilitators) attend at least 3 three hour sessions over the course of a month. If you’re like me, you’ll commit to 3 sessions, then get really excited working with the students and go to more (there is a launch and 6 workshops in total). For more information, head to http://www.mlksummerscholars.com.
Techovation Challenge [Worldwide] - Technovation Challenge has a special place in my heart as you read above. TC is an Iridescent program that pairs up high school girls with women in tech to create an app. Last year the app theme was STEM, this year the girls will focus on social problems and issues they see in their community. During the program they’ll come up with a marketing plan, business plan, prototype (via Google App Inventor), and at the end they’ll pitch their idea to actual investors. The regional winners, go on to compete against each other and the winning team receives $10,000 in funding to complete their app and bring it to market. I wrote a piece on my experience last year which you can read here, but for more information head to http://technovationchallenge.org.
If this all seems like too much of a commitment to start, why not take an intern or junior level employee at your company out for coffee or lunch. Or for folks in the startup world, try taking on a one-off, 1-2 day commitment with programs like Lean Startup Challenge or Startup Weekend. For more opportunities nationwide, check out http://www.mentoring.org.
And well, here at Vsnap we’re all about saying thank you, so I encourage you to take time today to thank your mentors, both formal and informal. Maybe, ya know, send them a vsnap.
Have some mentorship stories or ideas of how people can get more involved? Share them below!
(This picture is from Matt Cheuvront’s site)
Vsnap is hiring! We’re looking for a great developer to join our team. Here’s some background…
WHAT WE DO
At Vsnap, we give businesses an easy system to record, share and measure short video messages. Our goal is to make business video messaging a common behavior, and to make “vsnap” the verb of that behavior. This is more than a growth goal - it’s a mission. Personal video messages make businesses feel more human, which we believe will change the way the web feels.
WHY DO BUSINESSES USE VSNAP?
Think of a vsnap as the next generation of the handwritten note – it’s warm and personal, but also more viral and more measurable. And that drives action. Vsnap recipients take action about 40% more than email recipients, and they become much more vocal with their social networks.
WHY IS THIS A BIG IDEA?
Vsnap is riding some big waves, from smartphone/tablet adoption to the consumption of mobile video, not to mention the rise of cloud-based app-ecosystems around key business functions. But all of our work really comes down to this simple human truth: people want to feel valued. That’s what Vsnap is for – it’s a simple tool that businesses use to make their customers feel special.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING FOR VSNAP?
First and foremost, there’s the sense of purpose and the satisfaction of solving huge problems. Our team is cutting a path through all the complexity that’s involved in bringing warmth to the world of web businesses. If that sounds cool and you think that making web businesses feel more human is something you’d be fired up to attack, then we should talk. Comp-wise, we don’t try to make you rich in the near term, we’re trying to make you rich in the longer term. We offer a good seed-stage salary with lots of options, as well as health and dental and an unlimited vacation policy.
WHO’S THE PERFECT CANDIDATE?
Our perfect candidate will be energetic and have an entrepreneurial spirit, and also semi-balanced by an inner rational and methodical software developer. We don’t want plodders and we don’t want pirates. A bit of both is just right. This person should have enough experience or drive to be able to develop both as part of a small team and independently.
Here’s the ideal skills set…
- Java and/or Groovy experience, other JVM languages a plus
- Experience with Grails a plus, but the right person can learn on the job
- Experience with some kind of relational DB (Mysql, PostgreSQL, etc)
They would focus on the web tier and mid tier with occasional dips into the data tier as necessary.
And lastly, and this is for all candidates, we’re looking for someone in Massachusetts. Vsnap HQ is currently on the waterfront of Boston.
WHAT LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE DO I NEED TO HAVE?
We’re open-minded. If you’re young and hungry and you have most of the skills, that can totally work. If you’re a little more seasoned but you are looking for an assignment that brings some love back into your day-to-day, we have a home for you too.
For more on our company, our worldview, our process, etc. — check out this short post on What We Believe. And if you’re interested in the position, you can contact Vsnap CEO & Co-Founder, Dave McLaughlin.
October is just around the corner (wait, when did that happen), and it’s going to be a very busy month for the team. Our CEO Dave McLaughlin is kicking it off in Austin pitching at StartupCamp, CTO Claudia Santoro is speaking at MassTLC’s Cloud Summit, and Business Evangelist Joe Nigro is a panelist for Talent Focused Innovation at Babson College’s space here in the Innovation District along with execs from Bullhorn, Randstad, and Talent Culture.
On top of all that, we’re psyched to participate in a few BREW events. What’s BREW? Well it’s a couple weeks in October (October 15 - 26th this year) that celebrate entrepreneurship in the Greater Boston area. It’s an incredible time for people to see just how vibrant the community can be and we’re so happy to be involved. Check out the events below, pass around the BREW calendar, follow them on Twitter, and if you’re not in Boston, consider paying us a visit!
When: October 15, 2012, 7-9PM
Where: Cambridge Innovation Center
It’s been an incredible journey using media, both social and otherwise, to get myself out there professionally, as well as breathe life into Vsnap’s online presence. I’m happy to share my story, but I’m really excited to hear from fellow panelists Joselin Mane (LITBel), Kelly Rice (Kinvey), and the attendees. Fun fact for the audience at home: my first interaction with CEO Dave McLaughlin was via Twitter (crazy but he reached out to me first), and it was one of the factors that lead to us meeting and my eventual hire.
AMA Members $15 / AMA Non-member $35. - Register here.
When: October 17, 2012, 7:30 - 9:30AM
Where: Burns & Levinson, LLP
This event features executives from large enterprises who have a history of working with vendors and service providers. The moderator is Hitendra Patel (IXL Center, Inc.) and the panelists are Joe Bardenheier (Endurance International Group), Sam Bastia (Verizon Business), and Chuck Pickelhaupt (Fidelity Investments). If you’re a startup, you’re eligible for a one-on-one with one of the panelists, but you must register by October 13th. Follow the directions from Startup Blvd in the confirmation email to apply. Thank you so much to Burns & Levinson, LLP for the space, Richards Barry Joyce and Partners, LLC for sponsoring the event, and Startup Blvd for helping us put it all together. FYI - Some of the Vsnap team (CEO Dave McLaughlin, Business Evangelist Joe Nigro, and myself) will be on hand if you want to say hello!
Free. - Register here.
Technovation Challenge Meets MassChallenge!
When: October 25, 2012
While this event is not open to the public, I wanted to highlight it because Technovation Challenge is still looking for mentors. What’s Technovation Challenge? It’s an incredible program that pairs women in tech with high school girls to develop a STEM application for Android (here’s a piece I wrote about my experience as a mentor). I also wanted to say that one of the best parts about being at MassChallenge has been the resources. So thank you to MassChallenge for providing the space and to my fellow 2012 MC finalists Jessica Cole (Co-Founder & CEO, Roammeo), Aubrie Pagano (Founder & CEO, Bow & Drape), and Jacqueline Thong (Co-Founder & CEO, Ubiqi Health) for being on the panel.
And also, one last shout out to Christine Sierra (BREW’s Executive Director) for all of her help with events we’ve been working on for BREW.
And more events you should check out…
When: October 16, 2012, 9:30 - 10:30AM
When: October 17, 2012, 6:30PM
Where: Harvard I-Lab
MassChallenge 2012 Awards Ceremony (the team will be demoing at the VIP reception)
When: October 23, 2012, 6-9:30PM
When: October 24, 2012 , 8AM - 6PM
Events are being added to the calendar every day, so bookmark the BREW calendar and check back often! Which events are you going to? Feel free to comment below or send us a tweet. And always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email me or a send a vsnap.
Read more on the blog…
Tomorrow (7/31) is the MassChallenge Startup Showcase! It’ll feature over 90 of the 2012 Finalists and Alumni in Residence. As a primer to the showcase, we decided to show off these amazing companies by putting all of their “Twitter pitches” in one place. I did abbreviate some of them to fit the 140 characters allowed by Twitter, but you get the gist. The hashtag to use and follow is #MCSS2012 (MassChallenge Startup Showcase 2012) and of course, feel free to share each pitch by using the “Click the tweet” links. You can also share this post by clicking the Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Facebook shares on the right hand column or by clicking right here.
See ya there!