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New Event Series Goes Inside the Boardroom: Young Entrepreneurs Get a Chance to Pitch VCs

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 2, 2009 09:10 AM

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The tireless crew at DartBoston, which already organizes a weekly gathering and Webcast for young entrepreneurs, is debuting a new event this month called Capitalize. I love the concept: it's a chance for a young entrepreneur to get into a local venture capital firm, pitch their business, and receive candid feedback. And other entrepreneurs get to be there to observe. There will also be a live Webcast, since most VC boardrooms won't fit more than 15 or 20 people.

I suspect tickets to the monthly Capitalize event will be tough to get; one of the DartBoston organizers, Cort Johnson, says they'll be given out to people who go to their weekly Pokin' Holes event, or who watch the Webcast.

As to how companies will be chosen for the chance to pitch a VC, he writes in an e-mail:


    ...[We] are hand-selecting all of these companies to the extent that they believe they are ready to raise capital and they have some participation level in Dart like going to a Family Dinner or Pokin' Holes.

    The company that will be pitching at Venrock is RiotVine and they're going to be on PH next week...

Capitalize will take place at Venrock this month (where Cambridge partner David Beisel is also the organizer of the monthly Web Innovators Group gatherings); Flybridge Capital Partners in December; and Bain Capital Ventures in January.

Interesting, is it not, that all of the VC firms who've decided to make themselves more accessible to young entrepreneurs are in Boston and Cambridge, not Waltham...? (The stodgy residents of Mount Money insist I'm painting them with too broad a brush, but I'd argue that they're doing the painting themselves.)

Update: Kepha Partners in Waltham has just signed on to host Capitalize in February.

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3 comments so far...
  1. congrats to the guys at @dartboston, cort and jake's persistence have been really impressive, and as one of the companies that have benefited from their mission of promoting young boston startups, i want to say thanks and best wishes for capitalize

    Posted by Fan Bi November 2, 09 10:54 AM
  1. @Scott thanks for helping spread the word. We are very excited about the Capitalize series and the new relationships we hope will result. It's encouraging to see Boston's VC community getting involved with the Dart community and hope it helps catalyze other firms to do more of the same.

    @Fan - thanks. Hope to see you at one of the events!

    Posted by Jake C. November 2, 09 07:55 PM
  1. I think @dartboston is a very cool concept but most importantly it has what @Scott calls "tireless crew". they are going to change the face of startups and venture capital in the Boston area.

    Harsha Raghavan
    Applygo.com

    Posted by Harsha Raghavan November 4, 09 12:02 PM
 

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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