Discover Entrepreneurship

The Bates Center for Purposeful Work offers and supports various programs and events to foster students’ discovery of entrepreneurship, start-up and pitching skills, and social, material and technological innovation.

Bobcat Ventures

Bobcat Ventures is Bates’ own student-run entrepreneurship competition. The Center for Purposeful Work advises the Bobcat Ventures student leaders and supports alumni mentoring, clinics and judges for this highly engaging and successful semester-long program.

Opportunities at Startups

  • Boston – TechGen, launched last year by the New England Venture Capital Associations, is all about connecting students into summer internships at Boston startups.
  • Chicago – Built in Chicago manages a list of startup & technology openings in the city (including internships). More here.
  • New York – The NYC Startup Job Fair aims to connect job seekers with New York-based startups. The event is largely run by volunteers looking to foster a thriving startup community and to raise awareness about startup jobs in NYC. More here.
  • Worldwide – VentureLoop is an excellent site to finding newly posted full-time and internship positions at venture-backed startup companies. Worth checking frequently as new positions get listed every day.
  • Worldwide – AngelList has an extensive list of openings including those at bootstrapped and very early stage startups.

Sign up for the StartupWorks Bates listserv for Bobcat Ventures announcements and all entrepreneurship news from the Center for Purposeful Work!

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.


+The 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

Bruce Stangle

+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.  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.


+Redefining Entrepreneurship: Finding Your Way on Your Own Terms
Jennifer Porter ’88, P’15, Founder and Managing Partner at The Boda Group

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

David Shaw P'00

David Evans Shaw P’00, Founder of IDEXX, Managing Partner of Black Point Group

Ben Shaw '00

Ben Shaw ’00, president and CEO of Covetrus

+Adventures in Business and Social Entrepreneurship
David Shaw P’00 and Ben Shaw ’00

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.

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 2014 Commencement exercises. Read more about the 2014 honorands here.

Practitioner-Taught Short Term Courses on entrepreneurship

2017: Startup Project Management Bootcamp, led by Serial Entrepreneur John Stadler
and The Business of The Arts, with Sara Juli, dancer and consultant to performance artists

2015: Practicum in Entrepreneurship, led by Darrell Williams ’86, founder and CEO of Eighteen Ventures and HealthTech Maine

2014: Digital Innovation, taught by Ben Schippers ’04 and Will Schenk, co-founders of Happy Fun Corp, featuring guest speakers, entrepreneurship talks and computer lab time