One of the city's newest networking events is DartBoston, a gathering of young entrepreneurs and professionals who want to help each other get businesses off the ground.
"At the end of the day, we care about three things," the DartBoston Web site explains. "Making money. Having fun. Changing the world."
DartBoston gets together every Thursday night -- tonight included. The agenda includes the usual drinking and schmoozing. But they also do a live Webcast called "Pokin' Holes," where an entrepreneur presents a business idea and gets constructive feedback from a panel of experts. (No one, I'm told, tries to do a Simon Cowell impression.)
Tonight's gathering runs from 6:45 to 11 PM at The Landsdowne in the shadow of Fenway Park. The start-up presenting is Ferrari-4-Charity, and they'll be giving away a free Ferrari ride to some lucky attendee.
Entrepreneur Cort Johnson started the event with some friends back in May. "We started having some conversations in my apartment on Dartmouth Street, talking about what different people were working on, and how to get to revenue-positive," Johnson says. "We figured, 'We're doing these conversations, why not turn it into a show?'" This week will be the fifteenth weekly gathering. About 25 to 35 people show up, Johnson says, and before and after the Webcast they can ask questions of the presenting entrepreneur or offer advice of their own.
Part of the goal of DartBoston is to create an event that helps young entrepreneurs get some momentum, and build their businesses here in Boston. "We have fantastic talent in Boston," Johnson says. "But it's always a question of how do we keep it here." (Case in point: one of the four co-founders of DartBoston, social media specialist Alexa Scordato, moved back to New York recently to take a job with a public relations firm.) While the companies that present on "Pokin' Holes" are all started by people 30 and under, Johnson says that people of any age are welcome at the event.
Here's an episode of the "Pokin' Holes" show from earlier in August, focusing on the Internet animation start-up DoInk:
Johnson tells me he's working on a second start-up of his own. After helping to create goSwoop, which connects international students to U.S. universities, he's now working on Pique, a not-yet-launched start-up that will aim to make it easier for students to sublet their apartments.