November 10, 2011

Harvard Tech Meetup: MBAs Care About Startups Too

On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg came back to Harvard for the first time
since 2005. And by Harvard, I mean the undergrad campus - not the
business school. The event was framed as a “recruiting event” organized
by the Office of Career Services so that they could limit it to 200
“qualified” undergrads, who, granted, likely have more technical talent
than your average Harvard MBA. Little did we at Startup Tribe know that Zuck would grace us with his presence
shortly after his recruiting pitch at the College. However, his
stopping by to shake my hand didn’t really do much to appease me, and
frankly his pitstop at the Innovation Lab was likely to promote the
building and the University’s initiatives, not to expose him to the MBAs
who happened to be there. Let’s not forget that Sheryl Sandberg herself
has a MBA from Harvard and has been fairly critical to Facebook’s
success since her arrival in 2008. As a business school student at a school that
is notorious for sending a majority of its graduates to investment
banks and consulting firms, we are doing our best to shed this “stigma”
and show our passion for entrepreneurship.

I’ve written before how I think business school is very helpful
for aspiring entrepreneurs, and we’re fortunate to have a lot going on
at HBS (the iLab that is used primarily by MBAs, Startup Suppers that
are open to all of Harvard but organized by MBAs, Startup Tribe,
Entrepreneurship Club, TechMedia Club, MVP Fund, business plan
competition) to sate the most entrepreneurial of students. However, for
the most part, these initiatives are confined to our b-school bubble and
the University as a whole.

Enter Harvard Tech Meetup -
November 15 from 7 to 10pm. The name is a bit of a misnomer, as the
only Harvard part about it is that the event is being hosted at Harvard.
You see, this is a startup event open to the entire Boston community
that just happens to be organized almost entirely by Harvard MBAs who
love tech, startups, entrepreneurship, and early stage VC. As of the
writing of this blog post, we have attracted 400+ registered attendees
including students from 10 different universities, VCs from 8 different
firms, and too many entrepreneurs from the community to count. We
received over 20 applications to demo, ultimately choosing 10 to
present. The demand to be a part of this has blown the organizing team
away. It is a true testament to the strength of the Boston startup scene
and the vibrant student population, and we are incredibly humbled that
so many people have shown interest. Not bad for a group of MBAs.

Adam Besvinick is a first year student at Harvard Business School.  You can find this post, as well as additional content on his blog called Ventureminded: Thoughts From an Aspiring VC.  You can also follow Adam on Twitter (@besvinick) by clicking here.