The unconference format means the agenda for the day is set in the morning, when participants have a chance to stand up and announce sessions they'd like to run. Last year, with some other journalists, PR professionals, and entrepreneurs, I ran a session called "Generating Buzz for Your Venture," during which we compiled a list of 43 pieces of advice.
This year, jumping off a column I wrote earlier this month, I'm planning to propose a session on how start-ups get big — the secrets to scaling a business. Joining me will be founders and CEOs like Scott Griffith of Zipcar, Paul English of Kayak, Colin Angle of iRobot, Gail Goodman of Constant Contact, Matt Lauzon of Gemvara, Michael Simon of LogMeIn, and Niraj Shah of WayFair. Update: This will happen in Room 312 at the Hynes, from 2:30 - 3:30 PM.
My plan is to ask them for one example of a key decision they made that helped the company scale — whether related to marketing, hiring, product development, sales, fundraising, or something else.
And then I'm hoping that we can work with the audience a bit, picking 3 or 4 entrepreneurs and talking about some of the challenges they're dealing with. What better sounding board could you ask for than four public company CEOs... one CTO whose company has filed to go public (Kayak)... one founder of an 800-person private company that just raised $165 million (WayFair)... and one twenty-something CEO of a venture-backed start-up (Gemvara) on its way to 100 employees?
Hope to see you there...
About Scott Kirsner
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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More from Scott
December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.