2012 proved to be a groundbreaking year forIDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator. In 2012, the entire IDEA team worked hard to build the community’s awareness that IDEA is a University resource available to any student, faculty, or alumni interested in creating a Venture. IDEA events were heavily attended by students from across campus and the Boston community. At NEXPO, over 500 students, including representation from every college within Northeastern, attended as well as students from 15 other Boston area universities.
In 2012, we “graduated” seven Ventures to the Launched stage, where they became self-sustaining, entered strategic partnerships, or raised a round of financing.
Last year, we launched several events and programs such as the Pitch-a-thon, Service Provider Workshops, the Management Rotational Program, an internal management software, and an additional round of Gap and Prototype funding among others. In 2012, we had seven Gap Funding rounds, granting $121,200 to 14 companies. We also implemented a new method to work closely with these companies as they use this funding to accelerate their growth.
College representation within the University also expanded – entrepreneurs on the founding teams of the ventures came from all colleges:
36%: D’Amore-McKim School of Business
17%: College of Engineering
10%: College of Social Science and Humanities
10%: College of Arts, Media and Design
10%: College of Computer and Information
17%: Other Colleges
IDEA continues to attract interest from individuals and companies outside of the University who want to get involved. They support our Management Team and Ventures on the Advisory Board, or as Mentors, Advisors, and Service Providers. This large resource network helps us build IDEA and educate a new generation of entrepreneurs.
In July, IDEA’s Advisory Board Chair, Bob Lentz, accepted a new position as Entrepreneur in Residence. In this role, he coaches our top Ventures, builds relationships with our Mentors, and attracts angels and venture capitalists to IDEA and our investment-ready Ventures.
I had the privilege of working along side 16 incredible undergraduates who served on the Management Team – which has grown to over 20 for 2013. Last year, we set high expectations, and I am thoroughly proud of the progress we achieved. I am looking forward to another terrific year with an extraordinary IDEA team to produce even greater Ventures in 2013!
Christopher J. Wolfel, CEO of IDEA