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The startup gene: Boston's entrepreneurial leaders pass it along

Posted by Devin Cole  February 8, 2012 02:58 PM

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Lemonade Day.jpgGreater Boston is on the global map as a vibrant start up ecosystem with over 1400 companies. For this post, I framed a few questions for three leaders in the local startup scene and asked them to respond in vsnaps -- 60-second video messages, with attachments that offer additional information.

I like this format a lot because it gives you a sense of the people, in addition to what they have to say. After all, Boston's startup scene is very much a community of people, one that's welcoming to newcomers who have big ideas and the work ethic to put them into action. I've embedded their vsnaps below. But first here's some background on each of my subjects -- and the question I asked.

Dave Mclaughlin is CEO and Co-Founder at Vsnap, the Boston-based startup that makes it easy to send short video messages like the ones in this post. Vsnap's goal is to make it easy for people to have a more personal alternative to email, one that's super convenient for both sender and recipient. Prior to Vsnap, Dave co-founded a mobile payments startup called Fig Card, which PayPal acquired last year. Before that, Dave was the founding Executive Director of Boston World Partnerships and he is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker. Given all that experience getting ideas off the ground, I asked him how he knows whether an idea is worth pursuing.

John Harthorne is CEO and Co-Founder of MassChallenge, a Boston-based non-profit that runs the world's largest competition and accelerator program for startup companies in all different industries. MassChallenge engages hundreds of local investors and entrepreneurs to share their expertise with the next group of young companies. This helps those companies grow -- and grow fast. It also means that John has an incredibly rich perspective on what makes the local community tick -- and how to navigate it. I asked him to share some ideas on both. Be sure to see the pdf he attached to his vsnap -- it has a list of which bloggers to follow!

Len Schlesinger is President of Babson College, which is consistently ranked the #1 college entrepreneurship program in America. In addition to attracting students from all over the world to the Boston area, Babson advocates for the idea that entrepreneurship can help solve both social and economic problems. With that in mind, they have brought Lemonade Day to Boston. It's a simple but powerful program for teaching inner city youth about entrepreneurship by helping them set up a sidewalk lemonade stand, where these young people can learn on their feet, covering everything from budgeting and strategy to sales and marketing. I asked President Schlesinger to tell us more about what kind of help Babson needs to make this program even more successful than last year!

Here are their vsnaps -- take a look!


Dave McLaughlin of Vsnap


John Harthorne of MassChallenge


Len Schlesinger of Babson

Cheryl Meyerson is founder of new city, INC which helps companies, non profits and individuals transition into the greater Boston area.
Check out new city, INC's blog the bean.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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