The Boston Student Entrepreneurship Funnel


There are a lot of students interested in working in entrepreneurship, but most don’t realize it’s possible. It’s been dramatized in many young people’s minds convincing them that working in a young company right out of school is out of the question without experience.

But all students are not created equal. Some go to events because their friends do. Others feed into the hype and decide that they’re going to become the next internet billionaire. Fortunately these are also the ones that will be filtered out quickly.

The ecosystem needs all kinds of students as it needs both kinds of entrepreneurs. They need the ones that only go to events because their friends do and the ones that are genuinely interested in solving hard problems. Considering the caliber of our local universities we could use all their talents to fill the top of the funnel and eventually convert into people that build real companies or join the local ones already growing.

What Boston needs most is more channels to bring students into the top of the Boston Talent Funnel and nurture them through. The following organizations already do a great job doing so:

Top of the Funnel- Raising Awareness and Creating Startup Enthusiasts

1.     NEVCA- The New England Venture Captial Association is actively supporting and programming intiatives that tell Boston's story better and encourage more talent to get involved.

2.     Mass TLC- Mass TLC usually provides a discounted or free student tickets for their great events. They are giving 30 free tickets to the Unconference in November. Email if you're interested in taking advantage of the opportunity!

3.     Stay in MA - Flybridge Capital encourages students to attend events by subsidizing their ticket cost. 

4.     Bostinno- Bostinno not only tells startup stories but recently launched the Campus Innovation Guide to give students direct access to Boston technology news.

5.     Student Groups / Professors- We should never undervalue the role that the actual universities play. There are several student entrepreneurship groups and professors that play integral parts in raising awareness at their institutions.

Lead Nurturing- Providing ongoing exposure and the skills needed to be successful

6.     Boston Startup School- This Techstars spin off is a highly selective program that teaches students how to create value at a startup on Day 1. 

7.     Intelligently- Intelligently is open to the public but recently announced free student tickets to encourage them to build their skill sets.

8.     Skillshare- Peers can teach just as well as PHD professors in some cases. Skillshare allows the students already invested in the community and seasoned pro's to teach newcomers whatever they need to know about navigating the scene.

Conversion- Giving Jobs or Resources to Start their own Initiative

1.     Highland Capital- Summer at Highland is an incubator program that brings in current students or recent graduates to expose them to mentors and investors while building their companies.

2.     Every Funded Boston Tech Company In Boston- I've never met any funded and growing company in Boston that wasn't interested in bringing in new talent. As they fill out their exec team they'll eventually need junior people to hack and hustle on the new challenges they face daily.


Do you know other organization’s working hard in any aspect of the funnel? Let us know in the comments!