Saturday, June 23, 2012

So What's an Incubator Like?

A few years back when my MBA friend-neighbor talked about all the great incubators in the Boston area, the first image that would flash in my brain is the one you see above.

That, my friends, was the extent of my knowledge of accelerators, also known as "incubators." Every time she talked about this incubator or that incubator, she conjured images for me of little heat boxes speeding up the development of eggs.

Well. Duh! I learned not so long ago that a startup accelerator works the same way, except instead of hatching eggs, they speed up the development of novel concepts, by blasting them with collaborators, mentors and access to resources, such as legal advice and public relations, thereby giving them a competitive advantage and better chances for survival. Yes, the MassChallenge wants its baby chicks to make it.

The space we moved into this week feels a lot like being at camp. There's a strong sense of community, with several startups working alongside each other. Some are here for the second time, a benefit of being selected a finalist-finalist winner at the end of the summer, and others are like us, the new startup on the block.

As you can see in the picture, below, there are minimal walls. It was a bit of a shock to my system the first day, since I've mostly only worked in traditional and structured office environments. Kinda of cool and loft-like, wouldn't you say? Those cables hanging from the ceiling plug into power strips on tables for our power cords. :-)

View from our MassChallenge Green Community.

This ... I like. :-)

Temporary Home: I like the word "FLEX."

My surroundings are anything but boring. Aside from the distractions around me, being able to look out the window, at any time, to watch construction underway, men working on rooftops (wondering what the heck is taking them so long), planes taking off from Boston Logan and traffic and people going about their business makes for some really awesome daydreaming.

View from the 14th floor.

I could stare out the window all day!

Things here will get cooking next week when the MassChallenge Boot Camp kicks-off on Monday with five full days of training. We'll get to hear presentations on everything from sales, marketing, financials and funding, to business models, from industry leaders. I'll be sure to share the most salient points. I'll also be on a mission to learn more about the organization's community focus.

Classroom Area
I was bad and drove in two days, so Monday will start my public transportation commute (15 minutes by car, 40 minutes by train, 10 minutes by foot). I have such respect for my all my friends in NY. For this girl from California, the traveling will make for some interesting stories, if not pictures.

                                                                                Source: via Ali on Pinterest

Hoping you all had a great week and that you get to enjoy some of the nice weather this weekend (without the heatstroke).