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
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
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.