Found this really cool article by Albert Park over at Xconomy.com in which he (an MIT student) goes over and observes the entrepreneurial culture at local rival Harvard. When I think of Harvard entrepreneurs I think of Gates and Zuckerberg.
Parks does kind of a mini-ethnography and lays out some of the driving institutions in Harvard’s current entrepreneurial landscape. From the piece:
The most active entrepreneurship group at Harvard is the Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum (HCEF), now in its second year. While there have been several instances of other student entrepreneurship clubs at Harvard, they have all died with the original founders. Entrepreneurship forum co-presidents Travis May and Michael Segal still face this issue of group sustainability. But they have rallied an impressive group of students. Recent noteworthy events include talks by entrepreneurship journalist Scott Kirsner, Emerge founder/MIT student Alia Whitney-Johnson, and Bessemer Venture Partner/HBS Professor Felda Hardymon. It is interesting to note that these events pull in not only Harvard students, but also MIT, BU, Babson, and BC representatives.
The i3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge, which the HCEF is organizing, along with the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and Harvard Student Agencies, is a business plan competition in its first year that offers up a very respectable $32.5K in prize money. The competition is divided into tracks, akin to the MIT $100K Competition, with categories for for-profit ventures, social entrepreneurship, creative non-business ventures, and campus services.
I find the entrepreneurship club data/observation pretty fascinating and wonder what it tells us about entrepreneurs, students, faculty, and administrators. Is this a Harvard phenom?