Upon reading the name Greenhorn Connect, many minds shift to the environmentally safe connotation many have come to associate the word “green” with. Yet Greenhorn Connect has nothing to do with being enviromentally safe–unless, of course, it’s featuring a “green” startup business or entrepreneurial venture.
Greenhorn Connect is actually a community website that helps to build connections within the Boston entrepreneur ecosystem. The site connects Boston startups and entrepreneur enthusiasts with the many resources, events and even open jobs available in the Boston area. It’s mission is “to deliver relevant content to entrepreneurs and help channel the energy and enthusiasm of ‘greenhorns,'” which are newcomers–or in other words, entrepreneurs.
I first came across the name of Greenhorn Connect when attending Northeastern Entrepreneurship Expo that I blogged about a few weeks ago. I saw their booth showcasing their business and went over to talk to Pardees Safizadeh. The most interesting thing, it turns out, is that Greenhorn Connect is actually a website for entrepreneurs, made by entrepreneurs. The founding “Team” consists of two Northeastern graduates and Safizadeh, a graduate of Boston College. They created the website in order to serve the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs trying to learn from and connect with the resources, organizations and events available in the city of Boston.
The website contains a journalistic element with its Blog feed that contains relevant articles summarizing event recaps, interviews with startup founders and advice articles. The site also has a “news and announcements” element where site visitors can check up on what events are going on as well as enter various contests to win free tickets and access to events, and prizes that may help with their entrepreneurial endeavors. The site also allows community members to comment on posts and submit their own content, making it a real collaborative product.
In addition to the journalistic elements, Greenhorn Connect includes an event calendar so visitors can easily see what is happening throughout the week, get a brief summary of the event, and go to the event page right from the site to sign up. The site has tons of resources, providing learning guides, how-to articles, and lists organizations and companies that may be places of interest to entrepreneurs, such as 406 Ventures.
For the entrepreneur in us all, the site also has a job board where visitors and members can look for available jobs with startup companies and entrepreneurial ventures, or put up a posting for their own business.
I love the fact that the website is local and specifically for Boston-based entrepreneurs. I also love the combination of the journalistic elements along with learning elements, and that it is a community site, so anyone can contribute.
However, there are some things I would also improve. Members of the site have the opportunity to post feedback, yet from looking at the site, I did not see much feedback. This could be due to the fact that I myself am not a member, so I cannot see the comments. Another thing I thought that the site could improve was its visual appearance–pictures from events would be a great contribution, and having journalists cover all of the events they post would be extremely helpful. Perhaps a rating system of these events for community members to comment on different events would help other site members know if they should attend a weekly meeting from the reviews from the previous week.
Websites that can be compared to Greenhorn are BostInnovation, a website that also features articles about local entrepreneurs and new businesses in the Boston area. However, BostInnovation also features “What’s New in Boston,” so it is not specifically focused on entrepreneurs, making Greenhorn Connect unique.
“We’re a nation that says, I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company …. We do big things.”
The above statement is excerpted from President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, in which he referenced America’s history and future as a global leader in both innovation and entrepreneurship.
More big things are happening in the world of entrepreneurship (and Massachusetts) with the announcement that the White House has named MassChallenge Startup Competition and Accelerator as one of the most promising initiatives for supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs in the U.S. The White House also announced MassChallenge as a partner in the new Startup America Partnership, a White House initiative to reward and inspire entrepreneurship across the nation.
The United States does big things, indeed. And surprisingly, Obama is actually doing something to support entrepreneurs, rather than just saying he will.
The Startup American Partnership is an independent entity, co-funded by the Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation, focused on reviving America’s small business climate by promoting entrepreneurship and small business growth, leveling barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small businesses and investing in green technology. The partnership was jump-started on Monday with a week-long series of events encouraging U.S. businesses to invest in smaller firms. Leading corporations like Facebook, Intel, HP and IBM pledged to increase their investments within startup companies.
MassChallenge, located in Boston, tries to connect entrepreneurs with resources they need in order to launch and succeed by running an annual global startup competition, compiling key resources and organizing networking and training events.
As a partner of the Startup American Partnership, MassChallenge will continue to engage in a coordinated effort attempting to bring together and promote entrepreneurs, organizations, universities and other leaders throughout the country, while working with federal agencies to increase the presence and success of American entrepreneurs.
MassChallenge will occur this year on March 8, 2011.
Photo Credit to ceslava.com via Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.