Friday Oct 19, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz
With the relaunch of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) at the start of this year, the association is hosting several events this fall that appeal to both venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. They hosted a sold-out Oktoberfest party at Bessemer Venture Partners’ Cambridge office on Wednesday. And on October 30, their Coffee Connect with a VC event at Voltage Coffee will feature North Bridge’s Jamie Goldstein discussing what VCs look for.
“One of our key goals is to make the venture community more accessible,” says C.A. Webb, NEVCA’s executive director. “It’s clear that there are a number of great panels and gatherings that happen every week about various aspects of raising money. We thought there might still be a niche to fill having some VC partners sit down and talk really candidly in an easy, accessible way about various aspects of raising money. A lot of us spend time at Voltage anyway.”
Webb says they plan to host several informal Coffee Connect with a VC events and may turn it into a monthly series if it generates enough interest. She adds that the latest iteration of NEVCA (which has been around in various forms for about 30 years) is more entrepreneur-focused than it had been in the past.
“We are here to make sure that Boston remains the best place in the world to start and grow new companies,” explains Webb, who has held positions at companies including Care.com, Whole Foods Market, and Trinity Boston Foundation. “Telling the Boston startup story is about celebrating the amazing entrepreneurs that are doing great work here and growing great companies and reaching out to students to make sure they understand what a thriving startup community we have here.”
After attending Wellesley College and earning her MBA from the Simmons School of Management, Webb passed up work opportunities in other cities including Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin, “because Boston just keeps calling my name.”
Webb points to new programs like Boston Startup School as evidence of the city’s vibrant entrepreneur community. “The thing that inspires me the most is the way entrepreneurs are filling critical gaps to make sure entrepreneurs here have the resources they need,” she says. “Every week there’s a new program, there’s a new startup organization, there’s a new group of people who’ve gotten together to make it happen. Folks around aren’t just talking about what could be, they’re building it.”