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WPI Venture Forum

Why is the WPI Venture Forum so Important?

Why did the WPI Venture Forum matter so much?

Without getting into too many specifics, let’s just say I know where I’m going to be on Tuesday, November 9th.

WPI Venture Forum.

Wish us luck.

Twelve Years Later, the WPI Venture Forum

It’s great to see that this venue and this concept are still around, over a decade later! However, it is under a new name.

Now, you should just call it The Venture Forum.

Much like it was back in the day, this is a way for promising local startups to connect with people who want to help them get business financing. And… just maybe get capital from others.  It does not seem to be a place to connect with venture capital firms.

But I admit that I could certainly be wrong about that.

Startups and Money

I have written about this before, but it sure as hell bears repeating.

  1. The best gift that anyone can offer startups is money. Advice and expertise are great, and they are helpful, but it all pales in the face of do re mi. And while startup competitions may not want (or, truly, be able) to part with too much of it, it is money that is most needed because, to truly succeed, someone has to quit their day job. You know, the thing I just got a few weeks ago? Yeah. Someone has to take a flying leap into outer space – but that person still needs to be able to afford ramen and a futon.
  2. Speaking of ramen and futons, the startup game is, often, played by the young. This is not to say that those of us who were born during the Kennedy Administration have naught to offer. Rather, it is that we have mortgages. We may have children. We have lives that often require more than minimal Connector-style health insurance. We may have aging parents, credit card debt or any number of things that make living off ramen, on a futon, nigh impossible.

Startups and Those of Us Who Are No Longer in Our Twenties

Or thirties, forties, or fifties.

Ouch.

The world of startups most definitely has two settings. Either you are a go-for-broke, you don’t know what you’re doing but you’re getting there fast company (Neuron!). Or, you have a decided plan and a purpose, and you are getting into it with some measure of gravity and patience.

Guess which kind of business is more likely to succeed?

And guess which kind of business is more likely to be founded by engineers?

Can you see the disconnect there?

Engineering + Business FTW

What do startups need? Money. And what do business majors and new graduates need? A place to tout.

So, why not introduce the folks at engineering schools like WPI, Wentworth, or MIT to the business folks at Harvard, BU, and Tufts?

And than maybe everybody could go home happy.

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