October 14, 2014

4th Annual BUILDFest to Honor Tim Ferriss with BUILDer Award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

BUILD Boston, a not-for-profit organization that uses entrepreneurship to equip Boston youth for high school and college success, is holding their 4th Annual Gala, BUILDFest, on Thursday October 30th from 6 -10 PM at the Westin Copley Place. 

Some may be aware of BUILD through the work of TUGG, but if you’re not up to speed with their efforts take some time and check them out. 

Through entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning, BUILD ignites the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equips them for high school, college, and career success.

Founded in California in 1999, BUILD launched its Boston site in 2011 and is working with more than 200 students in four high schools, in Dorchester, Charlestown and Brighton. Students in their first year within the program are able to work out of the BUILD incubator. 

They are strongly supported by key influencers in and around our startup ecosystem. Board members include Jeff Glass of Skyhook Wireless (Chair of Board), Scott Friend of Bain Capital Ventures (Board Member) and Ajay Agarwal of BCV (Chair of National Board). 

I caught up with Elliott Campbell, who is an Associate at HarbourVest Partners and a volunteer and strong supporter of BUILD, to learn more about the annual fundraiser. Campbell tells me some additional well-known supporters of the initiative are Fred Shilmover from InsightSquared, Brent Grinna from EverTrue, Patrick Morley from Bit9 and Lars Albright from SessionM

On the BUILD program, Campbell provided some specific insight: 

“How do you provide underserved young people with the resources they need to succeed? At BUILD, we do it by helping our students to start their own small businesses. As they reap the rewards – from keeping the profits to gaining self-confidence – they discover the connection between success in academics and success in life. They become excited to go to college. 

BUILD is an in-school and after-school program in 9th through 12th grade, taught by BUILD mentors and on-site teachers at partner public high schools.” 

This year at BUILDFest, Tim Ferriss, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, will be honored with the annual BUILDer Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In addition to his bestselling books, Ferriss is known for his award-winning blog, his work as an angel investor and advisor (Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote), and his philanthropic work in education reform.

Also being honored at the event are John Barros, Chief of Economic Development, City of Boston, and Steve DiFillippo, CEO of Davio’s Restaurant Group. Senator Ed Markey is the event’s Honorary Event Chair.

One of the features that distinguishes BUILDFest from other galas is the Student Business Expo, where BUILD students showcase their businesses and sell products. In the past four years, BUILD students have launched more than 40 unique businesses. 

Gala tickets are $250, however I’m told there are also Young Professionals tickets for $100 (those interested should reach out to Moises for more details ( In addition, there are 40 premium tickets available for $500 that include an intimate cocktail reception with Tim Ferriss before the gala. For tickets or more information click here

Entrepreneurship can be a major driver of good and is key to keeping Boston thriving. If you can, BUILD and the many students benefiting from this great organization, appreciate your support and attendance at BUILDFest 2014

Josh Boyle is Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter @jb_sid
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