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Boston Startup School readies to wrap up first program with "Exposé" recruiting event Wednesday

Posted by Scott Kirsner  July 30, 2012 11:25 AM

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How's this for a successful inaugural year?

Boston Startup School, a six-week program designed to transform recent college grads into high-impact hires for startup companies, is wrapping up on Wednesday morning with a match-making event it calls "Exposé." On stage, there will be 72 participants delivering one-minute summaries of their qualifications — and in the audience, there will be 84 companies hoping to land them. Not a bad candidate-to-recruiter ratio...

Registration for the event closed last week, says Aaron O'Hearn, one of the organizers of Boston Startup School. The companies who'll be present range from publicly-traded businesses like Constant Contact, Brightcove, and TripAdvisor to earlier-stage startups like Fiksu, YesWare, and Crashlytics. Many of the smaller companies, O'Hearn says, "typically don't have resources to recruit talented, junior people."

Participants in Startup School have chosen to spend their six weeks focusing on either marketing, business development and sales, product design, or software development. (I wrote about the plans for Startup School back in February.)

"The idea behind the pitches is for each student to quickly explain what they can do for a company, show evidence backing that up, then explain what they are passionate about/looking for," O'Hearn writes via e-mail. "Not all the pitches are the same. We've encouraged folks to follow a story line but be creative. Some are showing, some are telling, others teaching and engaging the audience in unique ways." (A few examples of participants' online profiles and school projects are below.)

The event happens Wednesday morning. It concludes with lunch and networking.

Boston Startup School is something of a spin-out from the TechStars Boston accelerator program and Project 11, an investment firm co-founded by TechStars Boston director Katie Rae. It is free to participants, and this year was headquartered at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

Some examples of student projects and profiles:

- Nicki Haylon, a Roger Williams University grad, was part of the marketing track

- Bart Flaherty, a Northeastern alum, focused on software development

- Michael Tsidulko, a graduate of William and Mary, was part of the business development track

- Alexander Lynn, an alum of Concordia University, focused on product and design

And here are two student-run blogs: Inside Boston Startup School and Growth Ninja.

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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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