Student Entrepreneurs: Unite!

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Student Entrepreneurs: Unite!

 

I'm going to be giving the keynote presentation at an upcoming event organized by and focused on student entrepreneurs being held on the MIT campus this Saturday (May 3, 2008) from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.. Student entrepreneurs from MIT, Harvard, Babson, Olin and Boston University and other Boston area academic institutions will gather to talk about startups. I could not hope for a better group to interact with.

If you're in the Boston area, you can check out the event (and RSVP) at the Facebook event page for Underground 2008. It's free and open, but seating is limited so please RSVP on the Facebook page so the organizers can plan accordingly.

Having been a student entrepreneur myself, I'm a strong proponent of current students and recent grads starting companies. I wrote about this in an earlier article titled "Why Student Make Great Entrepreneurs".

One of my points in the earlier article was the value of the network students build (or have the opportunity to build). Personally, I'm not a particularly social guy and networking is one of my weaknesses, not my strengths. But even then, I've ended up working with over a dozen people that I met during my undergraduate days (University of Alabama, Birmingham) or my more recent graduate school program at MIT. If I could turn back the clock, I'd make a concerted effort to try and connect with even more of my academic peers -- regardless of how uncomfortable it might have been to hang out at "networking events".

The Boston area has some of the best academic institutions in the world. Even then, I don't think we're yet doing enough to encourage student entrepreneurs. Scott Kirsner, who writes for the Boston Globe, recently wrote about this on his blog in an article titled "How Do We Better Connect Students to Boston's Innovation Economy?" Scott's been doing a great job himself helping interconnect the Boston entrepreneurial community. He was even nice enough to post recently about the upcoming Underground 2008 student entrepreneur event mentioned above.

If you're a student entrepreneur, UNITE! Connect with your peers -- particularly those not in your immediate circle or discipline. You'll be thankful you did.

If you're going to be attending this Saturday's event, leave a comment and let me know (or grab me at the event). If you have topics you'd like me to cover during my presentation, let me know what's on your mind.

Also, if you're looking for online networking with fellow entrepreneurs, I encourage you to request access to the OnStartups Group on LinkedIn or join the OnStartups Facebook group.  It's a great way to find entrepreneurs in your area or at your school.

 

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Tue, Apr 29, 2008

COMMENTS

I use your "Why Students make Great Entrepreneurs as an important part of my class here at Minnesota State University.
I start each year with it, and review it in my last class - thanks again for writing it.
I wanted to share with you a great capstone event - at my last class of the year a good friend of mine came into speak. What made his presentation unusual was that he had gone bankrupt with his first business. After years of fast growth and success, he found himself in a downward spiral.
I've asked him to speak for several years, and he always declined. Only now can he tell his important story.
He is now in his second startup with great partners - I am so thankful that my students got to hear the other side of the story.
I've taught Entrepreneurship internationally, and it is an important lesson to learn about what makes America great - unlike other countries and other times in history, failure does not mean debtors prison. You can try and fail, learn and start again.

posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 9:30 AM by Mike Nolan


Mike: Thanks for the kind words. I'm honored that you're able to get use out of it in that way. I might need to revisit it and do a "second edition" -- have learned a lot since when I wrote that one.
I totally agree on the risk factor. One of the great things (and necessary things) is the ability to take risk, fail and start again.

posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 9:44 AM by


Boston has a lot of impressive startup activity and a concentrated but consistent pool of talent. Thanks for the useful links.

posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 1:16 PM by Workpost


Thanks for the head's up, Dharmesh. I linked to your piece with a few sentences of my own in my blog entry at the Innovators-Network with hopes of sending more people to see you this weekend at MIT. Best of luck and I hope the turn out is great!

posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 5:37 PM by Anthony Kuhn


Hey Dharmesh, I'm a Babson MBA and would love to attend your event--we're in the middle of some final consulting projects for the first year of our program and won't be able to make it.
I appreciate the post though, and hope to meet up with you at another event. Good luck on the 3rd.
rob

posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 7:08 AM by rob


Boston has a lot of impressive startup activity and a concentrated but consistent pool of talent. Thanks for the useful links.

posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 3:57 PM by sohbet


I use your "Why Students make Great Entrepreneurs as an important part of my class here at Minnesota State University. 
 

posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 3:58 PM by yonja


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