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.
Welcome back to our travelouge!
– “Hello, nice to meet you”
– “Hi, nice to meet you too”
– “We are entrepreneurship students, currently writing our joint master thesis on the gender gap in access to equity financing”
– “ That is so interesting! Then I know someone you should talk to”
What you just read is a conversation we had at an event we recently attended. It was called “Trends in the Funding Environment”. This was a networking event with a panel discussion that touched upon a topic that was closely related to our master thesis. So far, we have attended a wide variety of events, ranging from “Invite to Ignite”, where the focus was on sustainability, to “Pitch and Pizza” at Boston University (BU), where entrepreneurs competed in a pitching competition. This has given us great knowledge about the US networking behavior. It has also helped us find interviewees to our research. As an entrepreneur, these events can truly make a difference – you never know who you are going to meet!
In Boston, you can find entrepreneurial events for all sorts of purposes. What these events have in common is that they connect and support the entrepreneurial community in Boston, and facilitate relationship being build among entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators.
“So where do I find these events?” You might ask. If you go to Greenhorn Connect, Meetup, Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network or to Eventbrite, you can find an almost unlimited amount of entrepreneurial events.
One of the most popular networking events that you don’t want to miss is the Venture Café. It is organized every Thursday at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), and it is designed to connect like-minded innovators to facilitate entrepreneurship. Here, people get inspired, exchange ideas and forge new collaborations. At CIC they also hold workshops, talks, pitch events, hackathons, you name it.
Another cool event we would recommend is “FuckUp Nights”, where entrepreneurs share and celebrate blunders. It is a global movement born in Mexico, to publicly share business failure stories. Until now, failures have not been shared because some think it is embarrassing. FuckUp Nights has changed the focus onto the learning experience, and use the event to support innovators. In each presentation, entrepreneurs share how their businesses have crashed and burned, how they should never have co-founded a company with their (now) ex-wife, or how they could not get a single customer to buy their perfect product. After each talk, there’s a Q&A session, as well as time for networking.
If you want to connect with female entrepreneurs you should check out the events by SheGeeksOut. It is a community of passionate women, who provide females in tech the opportunity of connecting to each other and to companies. They offer fun nights of interactive workshops and networking events, as well as food and wine.
The last advice we have to those who are planning on going to Boston this summer, is the Tech Jam, which is held the 14th of June. Here you can geek out with developers, venture capitalists and business developers. This summer there will be an area dedicated to IoT and robotics. There will be live bands, appearances from entrepreneurial leaders, local craft beer and food trucks – the ultimate entrepreneurial “street festival”!
But why would you go through all this effort of finding events, and then having to talk to strangers and potentially feel alien and uncomfortable? The answer is simply that you do not know what will happen. You might end up with lots of new knowledge or you might get an opportunity that takes your startup to the next level! The bottom line is basically that “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye
– Ingrid Skrede and Martine Gripp Bay