Next week is the meatiest part of Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week, being held for the first time.
Joe Caruso, an angel investor and start-up advisor, had the idea to create an umbrella atop a few big events happening just after Columbus Day, to highlight entrepreneurial activity around Boston, across all industries. The concept took off quickly over the summer, and what Caruso had dubbed BREW grew into what should more accurately be called BREESAMO: Boston Region Entrepreneurship Events Spread Across the Month of October.
Caruso has been an investor in companies as diverse as Coffee Connection (acquired by Starbucks), Softricity (acquired by Microsoft), and Constant Contact (publicly-traded.) His Web site also candidly lists, with a skull-and-crossbones, those portfolio companies that bit the dust.
Right now there are north of 100 events on the BREW calendar. Here are my picks of the ten that look most promising to me, in chronological order.
1. Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences, October 12th
UMass Boston's Venture Development Center hosts a schmooze-fest and panel discussion.
2. Take Flight!, October 12th
Fundraiser supports The Engineering School, a Boston public high school. Donate $5, design your own paper airplane, and fly it against others for a chance to win prizes. (I'll be there, flying an airplane along with folks like Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn, Mass High Tech editor Doug Banks, and Mary Lockshin of Zink Imaging.)
3. Using PR and Social Media to Generate Buzz for Your Startup, October 13th
Free panel discussion at a law firm's downtown offices, featuring local journos and social media guru Paul Gillin, author of "Secrets of Social Media Marketing."
4. MassTLC Innovation UnConference, October 14th
What's an unconference? It's a gathering where the participants create the agenda at the beginning of the day, and where attendees are encouraged to be actively engaged in each session — not just listeners. This one features a roster of industry experts who will sit down throughout the day for one-on-one meetings with the entrepreneurs in attendance, offering advice and guidance.
5. Harvard Business School Entrepreneurship Forum, October 14th
Staples founder Tom Stemberg discusses his career as an entrepreneur, board member, and investor, and a panel of four women founders share their learnings. Free.
6. Powered Up Boston, October 14th and 15th
Boston's videogame community gets together for a conference and expo, featuring speakers from Quick Hit, Linden Lab, Turbine, Harmonix, and Rockstar New England.
7. "How I Got Funded," October 19th
Free eventing panel discussion with the founders of SocialSci, Localytics, Assured Labor, and Retroficiency.
8. Brewing Your Business Dream, October 20th
Excellent: a BREW event at an actual brewery. The Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain is the site of a free seminar on marketing, PR, managing cash flow, and more, designed specifically for entrepreneurs in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries.
9. MassChallenge Final Awards Ceremony, October 21st
Which of 111 start-ups will take home the big money in this first-ever entrepreneurship competition? The prize pool is $1 million in cash, divided up however the judges seem fit. Entrants are working on everything from airborne wind turbines to online music education sites to customized women's shoes.
10. MIT Elevator Pitch Contest, October 27th
What better way to hone your own elevator pitch — the way you'd describe your business in 60 seconds or less, with no visual aids — than by watching a dozen entrepreneurs do it on stage? A handful will win cash prizes. Free.
What'd I miss that looks good to you? Comments welcome...
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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More from Scott
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March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.
April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.