Entrepreneurship at Bates

One of the things I consistently hear from employers such as McKinsey, Roland Berger and others is the value they place on the entrepreneurial spirit of their employees. Becoming an entrepreneur can mean setting up your own business but it can also mean developing the skills and capacities you need to succeed in any career. An entrepreneurial mindset can allow you to make transformative changes in your company, community and in the wider world.  David McDonough, Director of Career Development at Bates

Upcoming Events:

  • Fall ’14 Boston Startup Job Fair - October 24, 2014 – The Boston Startup Job Fair connects top talent job seekers with exciting Boston area startups.  Over the past two years, the Boston Startup Job Fair drew 110+ startups and 2600+ job seekers resulting in over 120 hires.
  • Startup Weekend Auburn – November 16, 2014 – Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Maine designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!

    If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and contribute to a more sustainable world, be part of Startup Weekend Maine.

In case you missed it:

This was a semester-long entrepreneurship speaker series sponsored by the Purposeful Work initiative and the Entrepreneurship Project Steering Committee.

Daniel-VannoniThe Non-Technical Tech Entrepreneur:
An Oxymoron Career of Possibility

Daniel Vannoni ’05, Founder and Entrepreneur with Gecko Ventures |
CEO and Co-Founder of Novopyxis joined Bates students on January 29, 2014, to discuss his experiences as a tech-centric serial entrepreneur with no technical experience who starts ventures to help people across web, mobile, energy and life sciences. Find out more about Daniel here.
Daniel’s presentation was recorded and can be seen in its entirety here.

Daniel VannoniDaniel Vannoni Presentation

Best In Class: Investing in People and Culture At a Top Consulting Firm

Having the right people is way MORE important than having a great idea. Bruce Stangle ’70, P’96, is the chairman and co-founder of Analysis Group, the largest private economic consultancy in the world.  On March 5, 2014, he shared with students how he has invested in people and has never looked back.  This Bates English major created and grew a company consistently named one of the top places to work, that continues to grow each and every year, based on an entrepreneurial culture of individual responsibility and collegiality. Find out more about Bruce here. Bruce’s presentation was recorded and can be seen here.

Bruce Fireside LoungeBruce & Audience


Old Company, New Tricks: Big Businesses Need Entrepreneurs Too

On March 19th, Joshua Macht ’91, Group Publisher and Executive Vice President of Harvard Business Review Group (HBR), shared his journey from Bates English major to HBR with students, faculty and staff.  Josh has spent his working life inside traditional media companies, such as TIME magazine and the Harvard Business Review, as a journalist, publisher and entrepreneur.  He shared some of what he’s learned along the way as he built and launched innovative new offerings from within the stodgy corporate walls. Find out more about Josh here. Josh’s presentation was recorded and can be viewed here.


On April 30th, Jennifer Porter ’88, P’15, Founder and Managing Partner at The Boda Group spoke with students about Redefining Entrepreneurship: Finding Your Way on Your Own Terms

All start ups need not be high tech rocket ships or internet crazes, but unlocking your entrepreneurial passion can be tricky.  Find out how Jennifer Porter ’88 built upon her entrepreneurial instincts to grow companies before launching her own endeavor with a focus on leadership development…and learn how Bates got her off and running.  Click here for more information on Jennifer.  Jennifer’s presentation was recorded and can be seen here.

 On May 5th, David Shaw P’00 and Ben Shaw ’00 spoke with students, faculty and staff about their Adventures in Business and Social Entrepreneurship.

We live in a golden age of business and social entrepreneurship.  Today’s business entrepreneurship is driven by far reaching technological revolutions in life sciences and digital media.  Social entrepreneurship is creating vast benefits for society, and the distinction between business and social entrepreneurship is blurring.

David Shaw P'00                               Ben Shaw '00

David Evans Shaw P’00                                         Ben Shaw ’00
Managing Partner of Black Point Group                Founder and CEO of Vets First Choice

Click here for more information on David and Ben.  Here are some short video clips from interviews with both David and Ben regarding their experiences as entrepreneurs.  -Hopes of Steel,  -When I Was Here, -Endlessly Compelling, -Veterinary Pharmacy, -Versus the small steps, -Distinctive and Great

David received an honorary degree from Bates during the college’s 148th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 25.  Read more about the 2014 honorands here.

  • Venture for America (application deadlines Oct 6, 2014, Jan 12, 2015 and March 2, 2015)
    Venture for America will recruit the best and brightest college grads to work for two years at emerging start-ups and early-stage companies in lower-cost cities (e.g., Detroit, Providence, New Orleans).  Modeled after Teach for America, Venture for America will provide a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs.
    Fellows receive training and placement in a growth stage company and are paid around $38,000 per year. Apply online:  www.ventureforamerica.org/apply
    What’s It Really Like To Be A VFA Fellow?
  • 50 Entrepreneurial Summer Internships Available (Paid $4500)

Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) initiated a program in Maine in 2012 to accelerate growth and opportunity for Maine’s entrepreneurs, students and companies. Accelerating Companies, Accelerating Connections and Accelerating the Next Generation are the three prongs of this program. The Innovate for Maine Fellows program is one element of the Next Generation program that places highly qualified Maine students with select innovative Maine companies. The results have been fantastic. Please watch the video to see.
We are looking for motivated, innovative Maine college students who want to make a difference in our state while gaining valuable work experience with Maine’s most entrepreneurial companies.
Innovate for Maine is an internship program that connects students with companies that want to grow and create jobs in Maine.
Innovate for Maine interns:

    Get paid for working with innovative Maine companies
    Get training in innovation and entrepreneurship
    Gain real-world job experience
    May receive academic credit
    Network with other students and Maine businesses
    Join the cutting-edge team leading Maine’s future
Apply at Innovate for Maine (applications available Jan 2015)

 In February 2013 Bates students had the opportunity to meet with Tony Tjan, CEO of Cue Ball and author of the NY Times bestseller Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck.  Other Bates roadshow visits have included Redstar and the Cambridge Innovation Center.

 Entrepreneurial Resources