I was reading in Xconomy yesterday the Taylor Yates description of his trek to Silicon Valley with his MIT Sloan classmates and I couldn’t resist sharing with the Boston community a recent trek to the Boston tech community that I led for my alma mater, Bowdoin College.
This is the second year that we have run the Bowdoin to Boston Trek and in 2011 and 2012 we have had the opportunity to get 45 Bowdoin students on a bus in Brunswick, ME and bring them to Boston to showcase the technology and entrepreneurial opportunities available to undergrads (including tech heavy/CS roles as well as marketing/sales/customer support, etc.).
In 2011 we visited EMC in Hopkinton, hosted by Kevin Petrie who was my classmate at Bowdoin and is now part of the Green Plum data analytics team. EMC is the biggest tech company in Massachusetts and has a fantastic program for undergrads to enter the tech world in a variety of roles. We then boarded the bus and headed to MassChallenge whose co-founder and CEO is John Harthorne, also my classmate from Bowdoin (you will notice a pattern here). As many of you know, MassChallenge is the largest tech accelerator in MA and in just 3 short years has achieved an incredible scale. Over a pizza lunch, we heard from a number of founders of MassChallenge finalists who inspired many of the Bowdoin undergrads. We then headed over to Hubspot for a truly inspirational afternoon and evening with Mike Volpe, Bowdoin Class of 1997 and CMO of Hubspot. He gave us the opportunity to watch his live, weekly, video series. We then had a reception with the 45 students and 40 alumni and a panel that included the hosts from EMC, MassChallenge, Hubspot, Andy Palmer (serial entrepreneur and fellow Bowdoin rugger) and Jeremy Segal (VP of Corporate Development at Akamai and another Bowdoin rugby player). You can hear some of their sage advice in this video.
In 2012 we again boarded the bus in Brunswick with 45 students and headed to EMC to see our gracious host, Kevin Petrie, and then we visited a new venue, Eze Castle Software in the Innovation District. My classmate, Pete Adams does product management at Eze (which is named after a town in France, FYI). This is a really cool company that is the leader in their space providing software to the asset management industry. They also hire a lot of undergrads every year. We then walked just 3 short blocks to MassChallenge and had a great tour from Robby Bitting, a recent Bowdoin alum and marketing machine for MassChallenge. Then we were back on the bus headed to Cambridge to see Akamai, hosted by VP of Corporate Development, Jeremy Segal (Bowdoin Class of 1992, and fellow rugger). Again, this place is fantastic and there are a ton of opportunities for undergrads. Finally, we found our way down the street to Hubspot for another great presentation by Hartley Brody, a recent Hubspot addition and recent Bowdoin grad. Similar to our 2011 event, we then had a reception with 40 alums and a panel that included the hosts from EMC, Eze, MassChallenge, Hubspot, Jordan Fliegel, founder and CEO of Coachup and Bowdoin Class of 2008, and Dave Brown, also a Bowdoin alum and a Silicon Valley Angel investor (he was an angel investor in Pinterest, among others).
The alumni and students loved this event and it was a lot of fun for me. I encourage all of you to think about doing something like this in Boston with your alma mater. There is so much in Boston and getting the best and the brightest to come here when they graduate is huge.