Last May I was invited to participate in a new initiative by the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange called MITX-Up. Billed as a "marketing hackathon," it was designed to introduce local marketing professionals to the city's thriving start-up scene in a mentor capacity. Most of these companies are affiliated with incubators that provide extensive counsel on product development and raising capital, but less on the marketing and communications front. This is where MITX-Up comes in...to give entrepreneurs practical marketing advice to help grow their businesses.
Debi Kleiman, President of MITX, kicks off the MITX-Up event, above.
The inaugural event was held at TechStars Boston, a mentorship-driven seed stage investment program. Twelve marketing professionals mentored three start-ups over the course of about four hours (with pizza and beer thrown in to get the creative juices flowing) and it was a great success. So much so that MITX decided to hold a second, larger event this week at MassChallenge, a $1M global start-up competition and accelerator founded by a fellow Bowdoin alum.
It is amazing to see the array of ideas born right in our own backyard, and feel the collective energy of these entrepreneurs bringing them to market. They get a few hours to learn about marketing and develop actionable ideas for their businesses, and the marketers get a chance to work with companies and brands they might not normally meet in their day jobs. It's a great networking opportunity and a fun way to get plugged into the local start-up scene (not to mention a chance to see some really cool work spaces - these incubator offices rival any ad agency in terms of creative & quirky spaces!).
If you're a marketer or a start-up who would like the chance to participate in the next MITX-Up event, contact MITX President, Debi Kleiman. Help support New England's innovation economy!