Most winter breaks in college I’ve spent at my parents’ house in PA. However, after a semester of living with 75yo “padres” in a tiny apartment in Spain, I have a newfound appreciation for the freedom and independence of my home in Allston. So this holiday I only spent a short week in PA with my family, recharged, and headed back to Boston to marinate in the last few months of my senior year at BU.
Shortly after New Years, I reconnected with my FYSOP (Freshman Year Student Outreach Program) leader, great friend, and all-around college mentor, Anish Kattukaran. Over a heap of truffle gorgonzola fries from Deep Ellum, we caught up on the past year.
After sharing stories of our adventures he asked me the inevitable question, “What are your plans for after college?” I told Anish that I wasn’t really telling anyone my thoughts for after college for fear of failing or having someone take my idea. He simply replied, “You’re going to tell me what you’re thinking, and we’re going to get you a job.”
Within the next week I found myself next to Anish at my first networking event. Awkwardly shuffling around the crowded BostInno event at Dillon’s, I observed the scene and then separated myself from our group. Meeting new people, hearing their stories and collecting business cards, I successfully managed my first event.
I sent out follow-up e-mails to all of my new contacts and was pleasantly surprised to receive positive responses from most. One of which was from Jeffrey Peden inviting me to Kendall Sq. to see the office at Dogpatch Labs, learn more about startups and head over to Venture Café.
The weeks that followed were a bit of a whirlwind, but here I am: sitting in Dogpatch working on research, marketing, and social media. With at least twenty other startups on our floor, and others across the street, I’m struck by how many of us are centralized along the T.
If you travel down the RedLine you’ll find many startups located within walking distance to the T or other offices. We’re brought together outside of work with the help of different social networking groups such as BostInno, RubyRiot, and DartBoston. As a new member of the startup community, I’ve found Venture Café to be a great resource conveniently located across the street from our office.
After a few short weeks in the startup world, here’s my interpretation of the startup philosophy: group a bunch of smart thinkers along one line of transportation, give them a common meeting ground, provide the drinks, and watch the rest unfold.