We had a successful event last Wednesday night at Greentown Labs at 28 Dane Street, Somerville, MA – an awesome and bright co-working and lab space. As usual, Somerville and Cambridge never disappoint as a hub of startup innovation, intellect, and passion – perfectly reflective of the core values that DukeGEN Boston aims to foster. Our discussion on why startups fail similarly didn’t fail to disappoint. More pictures can be seen here.
There were 48 RSVPs for the event and about 20 people attended –despite the low turnout (probably Holiday season related, and also not artificially inflated with Summer interns) we had a great event. Pizza was kindly provided by DukeGEN organizer Chris Wolfington, and the gorgeous venue was provided by DukeGEN organizer Jason Ethier).
A great night of networking ensued and contemplation around ths startup journey, and what truly drives us towards happiness and fulfillment ensued.
- At 7pm, the space opened up for networking, and at 730PM I gave some brief remarks welcoming everyone and introduced our organizers, who each said a few words: ’04, Chris Wolfington ’96, Jason Ethier ’10.
- Jason also introduced the Greentown Labs Director, who gave some remarks about the space, and explained the Greentown Lab vision – she kindly donated the space free of charge for our group.
- We conducted a brief poll and the audience was split: 2/3 are currently in startups, with the remainder split between wanting to do a startup and working full-time (or being a student).
- I asked for volunteers to pitch what they’re working on, but no takers this time, so I gave my 1 min pitch around tripchi.
- I introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Taylor Jacobson (Trinity ’07), coach, speaker and co-founder at TeamPossible, which empowers personal fulfillment and global transformation through authentic enterprise. Taylor co-hosts the forthcoming show TeamPossible TV, blogs at 21Switchbacks.com and has been featured in CNN, GQ and the Huffington Post. He graduated cum laude from Duke in 2007 with a B.S. in Economics and Public Policy Studies.
- Taylor then proceeded to lead a 45 minute workshop on “The Real Reason Startups Fail & What You Can Learn From Oprah”.The entire presentation was interactive and we had a lively discussion and Q&A throughout, where many Duke founders chimed in with their own startup anecdotes and stories around what’s keeping them from living the “dream.” You can find his slides here.
- Around 830PM we broke back in to networking and Jason led us on a tour of the facility and the lab space, while we all noshed on ‘za.
Another great event!