It was a cold, clear, winter day, only a year ago when the seed was planted. A dedicated group of Boston-based community leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, academics and government leaders gathered together at the 2012 World Class Cities Partnership Chatham Forum to think about how to make Greater Boston a better place to live and work, with an eye on innovation and futuristic thinking. A recurring theme Ė our Innovation Economy has a PR problem.
There is no Boston story that we all know, that defines us Ė that tells the world about what makes our scene unique. Perhaps itís just plain old New England modesty, but itís holding us back from greatness. We are terrible marketers of Greater Bostonís tech scene. We need to shout loud and proud about our successes, inventions and achievements. In doing so, we will attract more talent to our companies and drive more innovation. This kind of Boston branding will translate into so many other good things for our community.
So today, a small group from that winter offsite a year ago, now loosely organized as the Mass Action unCommittee, is beta launching what we think is at least part of a solution.
AwesomeBoston.org was created to be a place where we could showcase our success stories and dynamic innovation leaders. But we didnít want to stop there; we wanted to find a way to get these stories and people in front of our #1 asset Ė the students that call Boston home for four years. If they can meet these folks and hear their stories firsthand, then these students will start to see their own Boston success story and choose to start their careers here.
AwesomeBoston.org has two parts to fill this need: the Speakers Bureau and the Content Hub. For the Speakers Bureau, we wanted to make our innovation leaders accessible to students. We offer students an easy way to bring local CEOs and exciting entrepreneurs on-campus for business club and interest group events.
The first set of CEOs volunteered without hesitation when we told them the goal. Through the Speakers Bureau, students can invite a leader to campus and create a connection between their on-campus world and our innovation scene. This is a great first step to helping these students find a business network in Boston. As we all know, once you have a network, itís very hard to leave.
The second part is the Content Hub. There is so much fantastic content created by the many organizations that hold events and meet-ups, with blogs and videos about our home-grown success stories and entrepreneurs. We wanted to aggregate this content, regardless of source, so that itís easy to see what makes Bostonís innovation scene so very awesome. We have some terrific content already from our partners, but weíd welcome more. Let us know if youíve got something that fits with the awesomeness at AwesomeBoston.org, as weíd love to include it.
This site is really just one way to meet the goal of shouting louder and prouder, building brand Boston. Relentless storytelling is the answer. We all should be talking more about Boston, why it is a character in all our success stories and why what we have here is so special. Letís not keep it a secret anymore. We can make it even more Awesome!
Got ideas for AwesomeBoston.org Ė please let us know by visiting the site. Got comments about why your Boston is awesome? Share them in the section below.
Debi Kleiman is President of MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange); you can reach her on Twitter @drkleiman.
The Mass Action unCommittee includes: Peter Andrews (Design and Dev for AwesomeBoston.org), Devin Cole, Danielle Duplin, Helena Fruscio, Paul Hlatky, Tito Jackson, Mike Lake, Yoon Lee, Chad OíConnor, Lisa Reilly, Jaime Reynolds, Erica Rife, Ian Sample, Nancy Saucier, and C.A. Webb.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
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