Posts tagged startups
Posts tagged startups
It’s deadline time for MassChallenge (Wednesday, April 3rd). If you’re thinking about whether or not to apply, I want to suggest that you should stop making excuses and just do it. If you don’t, then you don’t have the sense to run a company.
I know I know. Don’t sugarcoat it, Dave. Tell us how you really feel.
I guess there are legitimate reasons for not applying. But I can’t really think of any. I just don’t see any downside to being part of a killer community of like-minded people struggling with the same challenges, all with ocean views and a chance at large chunks of non-dilutive capital.
But let me get more specific. Just off the top of my head, here are 3 benefits that we have gotten by being part of MassChallenge. There are more, but this is just a little list to help you stop whimpering and start filling out that application.
I don’t see how you couldn’t make friendships here. You’re all working so hard, which merits mutual respect. You help each other when you can, which engenders gratitude. You achieve amazing things, which inspires admiration. You share your struggles, which seeds trust. Starting a company and chasing a ginormous vision can be very, very lonely. We all need friends whose understanding can help us persevere. (Cue the music, Bill Withers…)
2) Mutual Introductions
I can think of at least ten times where other funded founders have made email introductions to connect me with their investors, or I’ve done the same for them. We also share contacts that might be customers, partners, employees, you name it. Look, the access point to pretty much every ingredient of success is a person. If you’re going to win with your company, you need to tick a lot of people boxes. The best way to do that is to build a high-quality network. The best way to do that? Join a high-quality community like MassChallenge and figure out how you can help the other people in that community. For the most part, they’ll do the same.
3) A Place to Grow
That sounds like the name of a pre-school: A Place To Grow. MassChallenge is kinda like pre-school (but with pretty good wifi and a lot of donated beer). You can even write on the walls (thanks, IdeaPaint!). Startups need nurturing. We need a certain amount of structure. We need to be challenged and guided. We need to hear stories. We are toddlers. MassChallenge understands this about us.
But you’re also not a toddler. So stop making excuses and fill out your application.
Remember you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.
Oh, and if you’re too broke, we respect that. (Actually everybody in the startup community respects it.) We have a couple of discount codes to share. All you have to do is send a vsnap to us on Twitter (@Vsnap) telling us why you need to be in MassChallenge. Which is to say, tell us how you’re going to change the world.
You can do this!
Don’t be a talker. Be a doer. There are too many talkers in this world. Not enough doers. Be a doer. Apply to MassChallenge.
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…
With the 2012 MassChallenge Awards Ceremony a month away, I started to think about our fellow 2011 Finalists and what they were up to. I do see a lot of them around the startup scene in Boston, but some have left town and some have pursued other ventures. And sometimes we’re just so excited to see each other in passing, we don’t go through the list of milestones we’ve achieved in the past year. So, I thought I’d write a few blog posts over the next month highlighting as many teams from the 2011 accelerator as I can (we startup folks can be pretty busy). Here are some sights and sounds from the first group of finalists I caught up with:
Finalta - “A better way to buy and sell equity securities.”When I emailed CEO and Founder Michael Hayes, he passed along their latest news: they’ve raised $2 million dollars out of a $3 million dollar round! Read the whole story on Mass High Tech: “Startup for private investing mum on $2M fundraise”
Indivly - “Indivly gives you a place to discover and share your own and other’s creations. Plus, you’re rewarded with points for adding or sharing. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, ebooks, music or more.” Listen to an update from CEO and Co-Founder John Clark:
RaceMenu - “RaceMenu helps event organizers manage, promote and grow events more efficiently. Our calendar, timing, registration and marketing tools make events more friendly, more fun and more profitable.” Listen to an update from CEO and Founder J. Alain Ferry:
Therapeutic Systems - “Therapeutic Systems designs, develops, and produces person-centered medical devices for individuals with autism, ADHD, and anxiety based disorders.” Listen to an update from CEO and Founder Brian Mullen:
To listen to all the 2011 MassChallenge Finalist updates, click here.
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!