The organization operates from a startup co-working space/incubator based in Boston named LearnLaunch. The accelerator focuses on EdTech so we share the space with other startups in that field. TCN employees are usually here from 9-4 Monday to Friday however we move around a lot. On Monday we are often at Boston University’s startup space they named Buzz Lab as some of their interns help us run Greenhorn Connect – a more student focused part of TCN. As our events are hosted at different spaces around Boston we usually work from there on the days they happen to limit travels. Throughout my internship I was able to visit some of the coolest Boston offices where we hosted our events: Cooley’s, Google, Bessemer Venture Partners, The Hatch Fenway, Nutter McKlennen & Fish LLP, the CIC, Morgan Lewis, Wolf & CO and more.
The organization is managed by Meredith Sanford who – active in this ecosystem for many years – knows the startup journey inside out. Meredith is the managing director and is helped by event programer Marie Meslin to coordinates educative and networking events for entrepreneurs. TCN functions on a cycle basis with events based on different topics which logically follow each others in parallel with the fundraising process. A diversity of investors eager to give back rotate throughout the cycle to teach entrepreneurs about their experience on the topics. Entrepreneurs can jump in those events at any time during the cycle based on what is most relevant to their stage. The events vary in formats and sizes too to accommodate all types of entrepreneurs. There are lunch roundtables, panel discussions, evening talks, full day conferences with attendance ranging from 15 to 100. Entrepreneurs pay small fees which cover the logistics to attend. In addition, there is a membership providing access to those events for free as well as other special events and more interactions with mentors, investors and successful entrepreneurs. However, most of TCN’s capital comes from sponsorship. Indeed, huge law firms, banks, accountants and other service providers are always needed and get a lot of business from startups. As a result, TCN would not exist without funding from those companies.
My supervisor is Meredith Sandiford and I work directly under her with Marie Meslin. As Managing Director Meredith leads the global vision for the organization and manages relationships with sponsors, the board of directors and the board of advisors. The board of directors is made of very successful members of the Boston innovation ecosystem who want to increase value and wealth in the community and create a better life within the city of Boston. They have a fiduciary duty towards TCN and meet once a month to steer the organization in the right direction and make sure it fulfills its goal. The board of advisors is made of influential members of the community as well but with a smaller implication in operations. There are many advisors on the board who help create the required connections, come to speak during events and take advantage of it to meet new entrepreneurs and invest in exciting opportunities.
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