Thursday, April 3, 2008

Summer Programs for Entrepreneurs in the Boston Area

I'm only aware of two summer programs here in the Boston area for entrepreneurs who want to spend the warmest months of the year penned up indoors, working to get a company off the ground.

One is run by Y Combinator in Cambridge. Unfortunately, the deadline for submissions was yesterday. They've helped launch companies like Reddit, Loopt, Justin.TV, and I'm In Like With You. YC invests $15,000 in a company with two team members, in return for usually about 6 percent of the equity in the company. "The goal is usually to give you enough money to build an impressive prototype or version 1, which you can then use to get further funding," they say.

The other is run by Highland Capital Partners in Lexington. It's called Summer@Highland, and applications are being accepted through April 22. Unlike Y Combinator, though, this one is open only to current graduate and undergrad students (as well as folks who graduated between December 2007 and the present.) But only one member of the team has to meet that criterion. Teams get office space either in Lexington or Menlo Park, CA.

And here's an important element: "...if a team goes on to raise venture capital within 180 days from the end of the program, then Highland [must] be provided the option to co-invest in up to 50% of the total financing round."

If you know of other summer programs in Boston/Mass./New England whose goal is to help entrepreneurs get companies off the ground, post 'em in the comments.

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Anonymous Spencer Ante said...


Interesting video of Joe Hagan on the Globe Web site.

I am particularly intrigued--and totally disagree--with Hagan's argument that ARD retarded the growth of the New England venture communtity. His thesis is that by only investing $70,000 into Digital Equipment Corp., ARD created the impression that startups did not need a lot of money to build a business.

While it is true that Doriot was criticized by some people for not investing large amounts of money in a few companies, I have to respectfully disagree with Hagan’s main point that ARD helped to retard the growth of New England venture capital. It is just not true.

Without ARD, venture capital in Boston might not have ever taken off. ARD pioneered the model, which inspired many, many people in New England to enter the venture capital business and invest in startups. And one of ARD’s spin-offs, Greylock Capital, is one of of the best VC firms operating in New England, if not the best.

Check out my blog to see two other reasons why I disagree with Hagan:

- Spencer Ante

April 5, 2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Gene said...

Regarding: "Summer Programs for Entrepreneurs in the Boston Area" - Inc. is willing to host a few socially responsible technology-based developmental entrepreneurs over the summer in Cambridge MA for a small stipend and a small equity stake.

April 16, 2008 5:34 PM  

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