TechTrek@Shea goes to Cambridge Twitter and Accomplice Ventures to kick off the fall semester
Last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and global business incubator 1776 ranked Boston #1 on their list of best startup hubs, above New York, San Francisco, and even Silicon Valley. The reason: the city’s “clear emphasis on next-generation tech companies specializing in education, energy, and healthcare industries.”
This fall, 25 BC students paid a visit to two of the companies leading Boston’s charge to foster innovation: social media giant Twitter and early-stage tech VC firm Accomplice Ventures.
Something to tweet about
At the Twitter Cambridge branch, students toured a super-casual workplace awash in color, living walls, and a free flow of ideas. They met Client Account Manager Margo Rizzi ’14, Director of Large Client Services Jeff Melei ’89, and Recruiter Neysa Shum Sin. They learned about the company’s tagline (“It’s happening”), mission (free speech), culture (diverse, open, and fun), and internships (paid internships, that is, with perks like a housing stipend plus free breakfast and lunch). They got a window into Twitter’s latest initiatives (a live activation for Converse starring Miley Cyrus and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams) and key competitive advantages (live streaming, premium video content, and a steady decline in TV viewers).
The big takeaways: People come to Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world. And as Jeff Melei put it, “Being public is one of our superpowers, and we take it seriously. Twitter is at the center of a lot of social change, and we have a responsibility to defend and respect the user’s voice.”
Fast metabolisms need only apply
At Accomplice, the group got to know partner and co-founder Ryan Moore and venture partner TJ Mahoney. Besides founding Accomplice, Moore seeded or led investments in at least a half-dozen ventures and serves on the boards of six companies. Mahoney helped launch Compete, the largest open competitive analytics service, and FlipKey, now part of TripAdvisor. At Accomplice, he oversees travel and hospitality investments, marketplaces, and Boston Syndicate (BOSS). Together, the partners have built a tech-focused VC firm with a young, energetic vibe and a get-there-first mindset.
The big takeaways: Accomplice values the entrepreneur over the actual business model. They operate with a sense of urgency and look for that quality in the entrepreneurs they fund. They’re looking for summer interns with engineering/technical aptitude. Anyone with a “fast metabolism,” as Moore calls it, will fit in well here.
The Shea Center will be expanding TechTrek@Shea significantly over the next few years. If your company is interested in hosting a visit, please contact email@example.com.