Interning at MassChallenge: The First Month

The Patriots won the Super Bowl, MassChallenge kicked off application season, and a blizzard dropped over a foot of snow in Boston. And that was just the third week.

Not every week has been as unpredictable, but part of what attracted me to MassChallenge was the sense of endless possibilities that comes with working with startups. After graduating from college and looking around for a job, I found that I wanted to be part of something new and forward-thinking, with a focus on building a better future. During my first few days I often heard that MC thrived on a kind of hectic energy—how else can you host 128 startups across every industry in one space in the height of summer?––so I looked forward to a certain level of unexpectedness. When my MC guide Kara interviewed me for the internship, she stressed that it wouldn’t be a getting-coffee-and-making-copies type of deal––every day would bring something new.

So far that’s ranged from meeting with a variety of corporate and nonprofit partners, to talking to alumni founders building the next big things, to watching the triumphant Pats’ plane land at Logan from the office’s sweeping view across the seaport and harbor. It’s been getting my first bite of the legendary Harpoon pretzel, learning about the world of VC funding, and having heated discussions about how old is too old to be a “millennial.” (I say 1987’s a good cut-off.) True to MC’s idea that interns take initiative and dive right into important projects, I’ve gotten the chance to help lead the Partnerships team’s ongoing application outreach efforts, researching hundreds of startups relevant to our partners’ interests and inviting them to apply to the program.

Above all, I’ve gotten to see how MassChallenge does everything possible to help entrepreneurs succeed. Whether it’s cutting-edge 3D printing technology, a wristband wearable that shocks you out of bad habits, or an online platform that makes STEM education easier for teachers and students, the focus is always on helping the startup turn a dream into reality. Whether it’s through mentoring, scholarships, office space, or just getting to know and hang out with our founders and alumni, MC’s dedication to the startups--all without taking any equity--is what keeps the machine running. Good ideas and passion might be evenly distributed across the world, but valuable resources and connections are not––and that’s where MassChallenge comes in.

Looking ahead,  I can't wait to see all the ideas out there, and which will make it here in just four months. If you’re a student or recent graduate and want to see what 128 startups across every industry in one space looks like, apply for an internship here to help us all build the future.

Chris Bean, MassChallenge Partnerships