Earlier this year, President Barack Obama proclaimed November 22nd National Entrepreneurs’ Day, a holiday honoring those innovators breaking ground on new ventures in communities countrywide.
We cherish entrepreneurship at BostInno. Heck, it wasn’t all that long ago we were a fledgling startup searching the city for free beer and VC dollars, too. From posting about a startup’s first round of funding to cracking brews at community events, we do our best to bake our commitment to Boston’s innovation scene into everything we do.
In his declaration of Entrepreneurs’ Day, Obama called “upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities.” For all you Boston entrepreneurs out there, that probably means – surprise, surprise – plugging away on your MVP and splurging on some extra nice craft beer come
5 p.m. 3 p.m.
For us, that means breaking down our appreciation for you, the fantastic innovators building out brilliance everyday in the city of Boston.
How do I love thee, Boston entrepreneur? Let me count the ways…
You stick it to the man.
At some point in your life, you had a choice. Whether you were a wide-eyed 22-year-old or had already clocked many a bored year in a 9-to-5 gig, there was moment when you decided to bid goodbye and good riddance to the traditional corporate path and pursue greatness, and, oh yeah, a paycheck, elsewhere. Maybe you had been incubating a big business idea for a few months, or maybe you had no idea at all as to what you would do, where you would go and whether or not your family members would disown you. You could have slid into a position elsewhere but you took the risk, and…
You’re so inspiring.
You took the proverbial road less travelled, and now, you’re committing to your idea 110 percent. As an entrepreneur, you’re essentially running on the raw, bubbling energy of your startup, access to free Wi-Fi and coffee. (Sometimes a $4 drip coffee from Voltage Café if you’re feeling crazy.) You may not be making revenue yet. You may not be even making your rent. But you believe you will be soon. That’s not to say that you don’t have pangs of regret and hopelessness from time to time. But at the end of the day, you push through.
We admire and respect that optimism and drive, especially because we know, and you do, too, that the odds of becoming the next Unicorn are against you. But there are many people, who, when it comes to “building a career,” wouldn’t dare do anything other than the tried-and-true. But you’re doing it.
To reference Bridesmaids, we’re not going to say your surviving. We’re going to say you’re thriving.
You’ve created a cult.
A cult comprised of fellow innovators, seasoned CEOs and approachable investors, all staunchly dedicated to not only helping entrepreneurs, but also believing in them. From the Cambridge Innovation Center to MassChallenge, organizations have been created with the sole purpose of embracing the wayward innovator, with demo days, pitch sessions and mentorship. Being an entrepreneur in Boston means being a part of Boston’s innovation community. In many ways, they’re mutually exclusive.
Your flannel selection.
No, we’re not teasing you on your sartorial selection (though it’s true you likely wear a lot of cuddly plaid). Rather, we’re suggesting that the low-key look can be understood as a metaphor for the culture of the city’s innovation ecosystem as a whole. Need advice on your elevator pitch or desperate for guidance on how to bring a product to market? There’s a wealth of patient mentors more than willing to help you sift out strategy and deliver thoughtful feedback.
As a relative newcomer to the city myself, I’m personally impressed by, and appreciative of, “the door’s always open” atmosphere within the entrepreneurial community. And I’m not alone. Founders and investors alike champion Bostonian’s eagerness toward making intros, meeting new people and hearing one another’s ideas.
Take the MassTLC unConference for example, or the #Unpitch event. Even Techies Got Talent. You’re not too proud, and you appreciate innovation in its purest form. No matter how big Bitcoin gets, collaboration will always have currency here.
You make the world better. Seriously.
This should go without saying. The businesses bubbling up in Boston cover all industries, creating products and services poised to improve the lives of people on a global level. Millions of dollars are poured into Massachusetts each year from in- and out-of-state VCs eager to get a piece of the young companies coming out of the Greater Boston area, and the Bay State as a whole.
And we can’t blame them. Because we believe in you, too.
Happy National Entrepreneurs’ Day, Boston.