Your time is limited (so is mine). Here are the things really worth paying attention to. You’ll find most VCs, entrepreneurs, and industry insiders plugged into some subset of these. Increasingly I rely on Twitter & other social media to surface important stuff. Maintaining a smart set of people to follow on Twitter is better than an unfiltered RSS feed.
If You Read One Thing Each Day
- Re/code Daily – from the group formerly behind the Wall Street Journal’s “AllThingsD”. Get the newsletter when you signup for a profile.
- Ben Evans Newsletter – from Benedict Evans of VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz (aka a16z). Great content – links to fast facts & longer reads by Ben and from around the web. A weekly must-read. Follow him on Twitter, too: @BenedictEvans.
- Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends – from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Partner Mary Meeker – a must-read slide deck usually appearing every spring, chock-full of graph-junkie updates on where the future is headed.
- Good Morning Silicon Valley – the daily news digest from the paper-of-record for Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News. A great daily read that provides a perfect-size tech-news summary with links to noteworthy articles. Subscribe to the e-mail version so you don’t lose an issue.
- Bostinnovation is a great source that writes about local tech/entrepreneurship happenings. Other great sources for tech news from Boston (and beyond): BetaBoston, Xconomy, & the Boston Business Journal.
- TermSheet (VC/Private Equity activity) by Boston-based Dan Primack of Fortune – insider-ish, but a must-read for those interested in the PE/VC space as you’ll get to know names/players/dynamics & state-of-the-markets.
- BusinessInsider’s Silicon Alley Insider – I particularly like the Chart of the Day (link to Twitter feed).
- GigaOm (startup & tech industry coverage, and they’ve hired my former students).
- PandoDaily (populated by former TechCrunch folks and founded by former BC TechTrek speaker Sarah Lacy).
- TechCrunch (startup & tech industry coverage).
- Wired News (daily tech news).
- Things I check less regularly include VentureBeat, the often insightful SeekingAlpha (stocks), and gadget blogs like Gizmodo, GDGT, Engadget.
- Stanford e-Corner podcasts & videos.
Mainstream Media (MSM)
- Wired Magazine
- New York Times Technology
- BusinessWeek Tech
- Fortune/CNN Technology
- Forbes BusinessTech
- Wall Street Journal Tech
- Undergrads should consider joining the IS Academy (Twitter @bcisacademy, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), and also the their partner organization the Computer Science Academy (Twitter: @BCCSSociety, e-mail: email@example.com), while graduate students should join the BC Graduate TechClub (Web: http://bcgradtechclub.net/; Twitter: @bcgradtechclub; contact firstname.lastname@example.org; BC Grad Tech Club on Facebook). Follow both! And if you’re a tech-inclined woman, be sure to join BC’s Women Innovators Network – Twitter at: @BCWinnovators. Also join BC’s Women in Computer Science (WiCS). Contact: bc.womeninCS@gmail.com and follow them on Twitter at: @BC_WiCS. All groups co-sponsor campus speakers & the TechTrek East (Boston on Fridays, NYC the day before Good Friday) field visit programs and grads & undergrads often co-sponsor events or open events to others if there are extra slots.
- Students interested in entrepreneurship should seek out BC’s Shea Center for Entrepreneurship. The Center runs many on-campus speaker programs, skills development workshops, and competitions. There is also a social innovation track for students interested in crafting businesses that have social impact as a cornerstone of their mission. You can follow them on Twitter at: @BCSheaCenter.
- Boston College Technology Council – Dinner and breakfast series attracting A-list speakers and great networking. For BC alumni and parents. There are also active chapters in Silicon Valley and New York City.
- Chief Executive Club – Boston College – Often voted the top speaker forum in the country (ahead of the National Press Club and Detroit Economic Forum), the CEO Club attracts top-tier CEOs. Club membership required, but occasionally the Deans will invite students. Videos are often served via Boston College Front Row.
- BC also has a thriving presence on Twitter, including @BostonCollege, @BCAlumni, @Fulton360 (undergrads), @BCCarrollMBA (grads), and @BCchronicle. BC is also on Facebook, and see BC on Google+, BC’s YouTube Channel, BC on Pinterest, BC on Instagram (gosh, we’re pretty), and there are several useful BC groups on LinkedIn.
- Follow our @BCinfosystems faculty: @ProfKane @ransbotham @geowyn @burbc @maryjcronin @RobertFichman & for inspiration see Prof. Gips’ http://www.bc.edu/schools/csom/eagleeyes/ Our Dean’s on Twitter, too: @Andy_Boynton.
Local Events & Resources
- First Stop for Those in Boston: The Boston Tech Guide, which sprung from a previous project by NextView Ventures founder Rob Go.
- Greenhorn Connect – great directory of local, entrepreneurship & tech events.
- Women’s Entrepreneurial Council – an active community supporting Boston-area women entrepreneurs. We need more women starting businesses (and my daughters need more role models)!
- CODE2040 – Tech needs more blacks & latinos. This national organization can provide the next gen with mentorship and internship opportunities.
- MIT Enterprise Forum – free membership for students!
- Harvard Cyberposium – annual weekend conference attracting star-caliber panels. BTW: BC students have both gone on to run Cyberposium when at HBS for grad school (Paul Springer), and keynote Cyberposium to discuss their outstanding startup (Bill Clerico of WePay).
- Innovation Open Houses (Facebook Group), and Scott Kirsner’s Blog – cool Boston-area firms open their doors for student visits. Also follow @ScottKirsner on twitter for lots of local activity scoop.
- Boston Web Innovator’s Group – events & meetups. A great way to see folks pitch their idea, hear VC critique, and network. Big crowds, widely recommended as one of the most important events in the Boston startup scene. Hope on the MBTA and attend!
- Mass TLC (Technology Leadership Council) – many events, the Fall MassTLC UnConference is considered one of the best events for tech entrepreneurship in the Boston area.
- MIT BiG (Business in Gaming conference)
- MIT Africa Business Conference (lots on tech for good, open to all)
- Boston Area Game Developer Meetups – small, informal meetings for area game coders.
- EurekaFest & the Cambridge Science Festival – events that celebrate invention & science. Family fun!
- BIG: Boston Innovators Group (formerly WebInno) – great place to network in Boston scene (scrappy students, go here to learn & mingle). Startups pitch in “Main Dishes” for audience voting & feedback. “Side Dishes” demo throughout the evening. At the MBTA-accessible District Hall (short walk from South Station). Follow organizer & NextView Ventures VC @davidbeisel.
- MITX (Mass Innovation & Technology Exchange) – professional association for area digital media, marketing, and tech pros.
- Open Coffee – entrepreneur’s gathering co-founded by BC Alum Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital.
Entrepreneurship Resources & Working at a Startup
- How to Start a Startup – class by Y-Combinator President Sam Altman, taught at Stanford with ‘guest lectures’ by several founders of billion-dollar-plus firms. Dynamite!
- Collection of Pitch Decks from Venture-backed Startups
- The Lean Startup – the book, by Eric Reis, that many mentors point to that will help focus new entrepreneurs on testing and developing their ideas.
- Grove from Sequoia Capital – curated advice from the ultra-successful VC behind some 22% of Nasdaq value (and which has three Boston College alums on staff), also see Sequoia’s Start @ a Startup common app to apply for jobs/internships across their portfolio firms, and Sequoia’s Start @ a Startup conference for university students.
- Highland Capital Common App – apply to hundreds of opportunities across Highland Capital’s portfolio firms (highland has two BC partners, many alums on staff, and has invested in many BC alum-founded startups).
- New England Venture Capital Association’s TechGeneration Common App for startup internships.
- MassTech Internship Partnership – links students w/tech firms. Includes handy guide on “How to Win a High Tech Internship“
- Google Ventures Library – more advice/tutorials/videos for startups from one of tech’s biggest corporate VC moneybags.
- Free Templates for Great Startup Pitch Decks, Direct from VCs – Useful for anyone sharing ideas, from Boston’s @NextViewVC.
- Startup Institute – (Boston & NYC) trains recent grads for full-throttle employment at a startup. Four tracks: Software Development, Marketing, Design, Sales / Business Development. TechStars affiliated.
- GA’s Summer Startup Accelerator Program – great learning experience with the highly-regarded General Assemb.ly in NYC.
- True Ventures TEC – get a stipend and spend a summer w/a True Ventures portfolio firm in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Weekly talks/mentoring sessions for TEC participants. Targeted to undergrads focused on entrepreneurship (several BC students have participated)
- Y-Combinator (Silicon Valley). Sequoia-affiliated early-stage funding/coaching. BC Teams have participated in previous YC rounds, and two BC alums are at Sequoia. Also note YC resources Hacker News at: news.ycombinator.com and searchyc.com.
- TechStars Boston – get seed funding, plus mentoring and pitch opportunities. BC Teams have participated in TechStars & students/alums have served as fellows & mentors (other TechStars programs exist in New York, Boulder, and San Antonio). Demo Days are often happenings, attracting hundreds of potential investors to see pitches from graduating, accelerated firms.
- Highland Capital Partners Summer at Highland – No-strings-attached capital + mentorship to bake your ideas. Efforts in Boston and Silicon Valley. BC students have been admitted and have leveraged learning for national launch (two BC alums are Highland Partners – Dan Nova and former BC prof., Peter Bell).
- .406 Ventures has a Student Fellows program that develops deal sourcing skills for undergrads & grads (including those from BC). Current contact is: Graham Brooks.
- MassChallenge – global startup competition & accelerator. BC Teams have participated.
- Stay in MA – a Flybridge Capital Partners event scholarship program that funds event costs (up to $100/event) for Massachusetts-based college students.
- The Awesome Foundation – modest ($1,000) grants and BetaHouse co-working space, offered monthly to those deemed to be working on, well, something awesome.
- There are several great job boards for finding internships at startups, including Startuply, TechCrunch’s CrunchBoard, and Mashable Jobs.
- StartupDigest offers mailings of startup events in select cities.
- FoundersWorkbench – resources for founders by the law firm of Goodwin-Proctor.
- Oh – and you might find my book useful, too! Covers leveraging technology to build sector-dominating businesses. Cases on Amazon, Zara, Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and more. http://gallaugher.com/book
Key players in all of these efforts are on Twitter. Follow those that you are interested in! Click the “Following” link on the twitter page of the high-value people that you follow to find out who they follow, then follow them, too!
Put these things into an RSS reader and scan headlines. There’s a lot I didn’t include, but hey, there’s only so much free time in a day! If you feel super-passionately about a resource or opportunity, shoot it to me along with a brief summary on why it’s important.