We had an excellent and successful event on Aug 17th at Next Jump @ 1 Kendall Square (link), a an awesome space in Cambridge. As usual, Cambridge (and Kendall Square in particular) never disappoints as it is a hub of startup innovation, intellect, and passion and reflects the core values that DukeGEN Boston wants to foster. Our discussion on startup culture similarly fit with this theme.
There were 87 RSVPs for the event and about 50 people attended (we counted!). Tasty apps (not the mobile kind) and beer was kindly provided by Next Jump (Duke alum Greg Kunkel hosted us).
A great night of networking ensued and a number of students, both undergrad and at the MBA level were in attendance. It was a very diverse crowd!
- At 7pm, the space opened up for networking, and at 745PM I gave some brief remarks welcoming everyone and introduced our organizers, who each said a few words.
- Chandra Jacobs ’04, Chris Wolfington ’96, Jason Ethier ’10, Michael Kurdziel ’11, Greg Kunkel ’04.
- Jason gave a 1 min pitch on his startup, Dynamo Micropower, that is currently fundraising through an Indiegogo campaign. His Boston startup is developing a high efficiency natural gas micro-turbine for use in distributed energy systems.
- We conducted a brief poll and the audience was split: 1/3 are currently in startups, 1/3 have done startups, 1/3 that want to do startups.
- I introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Corey McAveeney, from the Boston startup Kulturenvy, who shared some anecdotes based on her research and experience around startup cultures.
- We then opened up the floor for Q&A and had a lively discussion her findings that Gratitude and Transparency were two of the biggest startup culture values that are en vogue.
- I asked for volunteers to pitch what they’re working on:
- Kurt Rote ’04 introduced his new company/technology (Western Biodesign) around injecting viruses into cancer cells. He’s looking to meet other people with experience and interest in biotech.
- I also introduced my startup, tripchi, to the group – tripchi is a mobile app that helps you make the most of your time in the airport by serving up recommendations of things to do while you’re in the airport. We’ll be launching an Indiegogo campaign in September; stay tuned by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/
- Around 830PM we broke back in to networking.
We had a number of people ask to volunteer to help organize the next one, and people were overflowing with ideas of how to better utilize the group and what next events to host. Taylor Jacobson has already volunteered to speak at our next event – he is a coach (bloghere) who helps startup founders clarify their purpose through Lean Startup methodology, and was quite knowledgeable and involved in the discussion around startup culture that our guest speaker presented. He also posted so cool resources in our DukeGEN BostonLinkedIn group so be sure to join and check those out!Be sure to sign-up for our next event, coming up on Nov 14th!