Are You A Boston Based Entrepreneur Looking for a Mentor?

My long time friend Warren Katz pointed me out to an event on March 3, 2010 called EO Boston Accelerator Shark Bowl 2010.  It’s a competition for entrepreneurs under 40 with businesses between $100k / year and $1m / year in revenue.  You present to a group of judges including Warren (MAK Technologies), Rich Farrell (Full Armor), Clark Waterfall (Boston Search Group), and Michael Hackel (DiningIN) who are all EO Boston members.

In 1993 I was the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization Boston Chapter and member #1.  My forum group, “Forum Group 1” is apparently still meeting monthly.  And while YEO changed its name to EO, my friend Warren who has been a member from the very beginning tells me the group is still going very strong (the stats look like 88 members with total sales of $427m and 2,231 employees across all of the companies.)

If you fit the qualifications, I’d encourage you to participate.  It’s free, you’ll get some great practice and advice, and meet a bunch of new entrepreneurial peers.  To participate, you must register and to present you must sent your presentation to Caryn Saitz by March 1st. 

Go Boston (and Cambridge) – you are making me proud these days!

  • http://virtualizationstuff.blogspot.com mark macauley

    Where is Forum Group One these days? I remeber the YEO with you, Pete Mellor, Jenny Lawton, and Arthur Nelson in the house. Wow, that seems so long ago…

  • jared

    I went to a couple of EO's boston recruiting events, being a 25 year old entrepreneur with sales just over $250k/year.

    It turned out 90% of the members own companies like landcaping, home contracting etc.. Sure their revenue is in the millions, but their profits aren't impressive when present.

    I also tend to not want to be part of organization charging young entrepreneurs to join. They want $1200 just to be a member. I can think of a lot better places to put my money.

  • http://www.toysperiod.com Gaston

    It sounds like these guys are going to sit back and listen to all the ideas that I have slaved over to formulate.

    Are they going to give me a consulting fee of some kind for divulging how I make a profit and how I stay ahead of the competition in my field?

    All I need is one more competitor in my area to take this proprietary knowledge I assume I would have to divulge and start up a company in order to put me into serious financial difficulty.

    So, I would be curious other than their sitting back and listening to a marvelous array of information that consultants are paid $300 an hour to share, what they are going to give the participants? The pleasure of their wisdom? Unless they are in the ball bearing business, why would I want to know about what they do? Perhaps I am being very shallow here, but I've gone to a few meetings of young entrepreneurs in the past and they have all turned into time wasters.

    I am all for doing something that will make the company more money. However, I am wondering what these guys are going to offer. One of my nightmares is running into a guy who was born with a 10 million dollar trust fund from his Daddy, and calling that money "venture capital" and having him, based on his money, have anything at all to say about my company.

    I find a lot of venture capitalists are just vulture capitalists who wouldn't know how to make money from scratch if their life depended on it, but who have been humored all their lives because of an accident of birth, going to prestigious colleges because of Daddy, and having the world on a string because of Granddaddy.

    So, to put a better spin on this, I really want to know what I will get out of this if I WIN, YIPPEE. I'm am truly ready to play if there is something here to be gained for everyone.

    My favorite hobby shop:

    ToysPeriod is a leading online shop specializing in lego sets and model railroad equipment.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/forestcall222 forestcall222

    I run a development per-ticket service that in Jan 2010 alone has generated $340,035 in sales.

    We specialize in Android, iPhone and general Open Source web apps.

    We have a Chinese based office and have the rent pre-paid for 2 years.
    We want to grow to 200+ developers in 2010 which will bring total sales within $15 – $20 Million.

    More coders is directly related to profit.

    We have a full business plan which includes a growth strategy for the next 3 years. Based on current numbers we conservatively estimate sales to exceed $100 million by 2013

    Unfortunately were a California S-Corp based out of San Francisco. My self (CEO) and my main partner (COO) live most of the time in Asia.

    We actually plan to officially search for VC partners in April 2010. We will have more than $1 million in sales in the first 4 months of 2010 and a impressive software system, team and business plan. Our main goal is to find a "partner" who can help provide CFO knowledge and bring some cash to the table.

    We would be willing to fly to Boston once in a while :-) But since our main office is on a tropical island in the South of China I bet the investors would prefer to chill in our neighborhood :-)

    We are also interested in other creative financing methods if someone has really good credit and assets. We can leverage our receivables to obtain funding.

    ——————————————————-
    I know…..i know…..
    Fishing…..for Tuna on blogs is not cool :-)
    Its a wild hair!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    No clue!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    My experience with EO (YEO at the time) was one of the best in my professional life.  I joined when I was 23 and was a member until I was 37.  My first company was a software consulting business – I joined when we were right at $1m in revenue.  At the time YEO International (the whole organization) was about 100 members and great to 5000 members while I was a member.  Forum was by far the most impactful.  I had monthly meetings with a wide range of peers – one guy had an art moving business, one guy had an environmental consulting business, one had a real estate business, and one had a college moving business.  There were a few tech people also, but the range, variety, and emotional dynamics were incredibly helpful.I also found the International events (at the time there were two major ones per year) to be awesome – both in variety of businesses and cultures.  And our local chapter events were also great. At the time, the membership fee felt like a lot, but it was easily justifiable after the first year.  I never thought about it again for the next 14 years.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Gaston, based on your tone, I’d encourage you not to attend or participate.  I’ve written extensively about mentors and how they’ve helped me as an entrepreneur and how – as an investor – I’ve acted as a mentor over the years – both on this blog, at http://www.techstars.org, and in other places.  You seem so polarized against this and generally cynical that it’s not clear why you’d bother, which is fine.

  • http://twitter.com/ResearchRocks @ResearchRocks

    Hi Jared,

    Hmmm…I have been a member for over 7 years and I can assure you the membership is diverse. In my forum alone (and Boston has about 14 forums) we have a radio station owner, an accounting practice, an online training business, a candy manufacturer, an allergy-free foods manufacturer, a factory automation engineering firm, a franchise owner, a B2B software firm, and a textile wholesaler. As far as membership fees–yes, it costs. But I have tried other groups in the past that were free or low cost–and at those groups A) I mostly met 1-person shops who simply don't have the same scale of issues I have (most EO members are $2-10M in sales) B) everyone was trying to sell me something (EO bans active solicitation–members are here for peer support, best practices sharing, learning–NOT sales).

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