Ingrid and Martine are two students from the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. In a series of travelogues, they will introduce us to the world of entrepreneurship in Boston as they are finishing their master thesis at the Babson College.
By Ingrid Skrede and Martine Gripp Bay
So awesome that you have decided to visit this blog today. This is the first post out of many, where we will take you on a guided trip to the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem. So, get settled, buckle your seatbelt and get ready to be inspired.
First thing first though, who are we? To sum it up, we are two girls with a heart for entrepreneurship and a spark to make a difference. We are both students at the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship, but before that we buried ourselves in courses such as hydrodynamics, finite element analysis and fatigue design. In other words, total nerds. Ingrid has completed 4 years of mechanical engineering, with a specialization in product development and materials at NTNU. Pretty awesome, right? And Martine already holds a master’s degree in marine engineering with a specialization in marine structures, also from NTNU. Girl power!!!! In 2016, we made the bold decision to embark on an entrepreneurial journey.
In the last two years, we have had the pleasure of working with business ideas from CERN, explore grassroot innovations in India and participate in an accelerated entrepreneurship program at Boston University. As the cherry on top of this awesome sundae ice cream, we have also managed to start our own company… and then crash it 7 months later. But hey, failing is part of the learning experience, right? It is true what they say: when one door closes, another opens. Because when everything looked dark last summer after leaving our startup, we got the most amazing opportunity.
Through the network at the NTNU school of Entrepreneurship, we met Prof. Candida Brush from Babson College, who is well-known for her research in women’s entrepreneurship. She agreed to guide our master thesis on the topic of how entrepreneurs use their network and experience to acquire equity financing. For the next months, we will interview entrepreneurs who have obtained equity financing, venture capitalists and business angels. We hope that our research will contribute to a more gender equal society where the gender gap in equity financing will once and for all be closed.
Now that you have gotten to know us a bit better, we would like to introduce you to the inspiring and entrepreneurial city of Boston. The capital of New England was recently ranked the No. 1 city in the US to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. It is no secret that the American competition is hard, so how did Boston manage to gain this position?
The city has not only fostered the Red Sox, the Patriots and great lobster chefs, it is also the cradle of great tech startups that has changed the world. It is the city where companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and TripAdvisor were born.
With top-tier universities such as MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Boston University and Babson College, it may not come as a surprise that Boston is named the smartest city in the US. This is based on the city’s ability to push the limits of technology, sustainability, and better living conditions. In order words, a city mainly populated by geeks.
The city is characterized by its world-class tech ecosystem, where entrepreneurs have no trouble finding the resources to grow their ideas into businesses. Are you an entrepreneur in need of a place to work in Boston? Then you should totally check out WeWork, Greentown Labs, LearnLaunch or any of the other inspiring coworking places that may fit with your needs! There you will find mentors, network and enough coffee to make your body shake.
Or maybe you simply want to meet like-minded people? Then you should definitely check out the numerous events where investors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, marketing people and others come together to support innovation. These people fuel the startup growth through collective community efforts such as sharing experiences and resources, and by exchanging ideas. The event are open for everyone who are interested. Examples of gatherings are the weekly meetups at Venture Café and the monthly FuckUp Night at WeWork, to mention a few.
We have just scratched the surface of what Boston has to offer. Stay tuned – in future blog posts we will dig deeper into the candy jar, and tell you more about this amazing city. But hey, if you are thinking “I would love to hear more about [topic X]”, reach out and we will look into it. Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.