Archive for August, 2014

List of New Haven Area Startups

August 29th, 2014

After talking to a few folks, I was not able to easily find a list of startups in the New Haven area.  So, I decided to create one.  With the help of Derek Koch, John Seiffer and a few other Twitter folks (thanks!), I got a draft put together.

The definition of startup is intentionally vague as is the definition of “New Haven area”.  Startup to me means that the company is high growth or hopes to be.  I personally tend to lean more towards tech ventures.  So, those are the ones I am likely to know about of the top of my head.  Done my best to add other industries, too, as I want all industries here.

Here is the list of New Haven Area Startups that can be edited by anyone.  Add your startup, update or generally, please help keep this current.

Yale Embraces Entrepreneurship

August 28th, 2014

Yale continues to take concrete steps forward in embracing entrepreneurship.  Now, with even more academic classes and staff dedicated to the cause.

Yes, some Yalie’s were involved in kicking off the oil industry in the US, but for a period in the 20th century it was definitely believed that entrepreneurship had no place at a university.  In 1999, when we started the (still) student-run Yale Entrepreneurial Society, we hoped to have an impact on the culture by creating networking and educational opportunities.  I think YES has contributed to bringing visablity and bringing together some successful entrepreneurs.  (Of course, many were already or were going to be successful on their own.)

Things definitely had sifted by the time the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute was established (in 2008?).  I like to think the move had something to do with prompting by folks like me who advocated for it.  The university at that point dedicated full-time staff and a budget to supporting real-world entrepreneurial experiences for students.  Although at first it was focused on the summer, it grew to year-round programs and worked to be relevant at more stages of a student’s journey.

There was enough community and activity, that in 2013, YEI published an official handbook on entrepreneurship at Yale to help people navigate the landscape.  With the President of Yale talking about encouraging entrepreneurship and the Provost saying things like “Entrepreneurship is a big part of Yale’s agenda.”  There definitely is support from the academic leadership.  (Don’t forget Pres. Levin and VP Bruce Alexander were supports all along.)

Then in the past few months, the business school has an bigger official commitment to its entrepreneurship program that builds on the work by David Cromwell, Maureen Burke and others.  What we’re talking about is a doubling or tripling of staff, a multiple million dollar war chest, an explosion of courses, a physical space, and scholarships for students and loan deferrals for graduating entrepreneurs.

To further the excitement, the Yale Daily News wrote yesterday about the new Computer Science class that is Yale’s answer to Harvard’s CS50. Prof. Daniel Abadi and Prof. Kyle Jensen, both successful tech entrepreneurs in their own right, are teaching the class. With a practical focus on building Android applications for those with no previous coding experience, combined with lessons on entrepreneurship including a virtual stock market for student ventures, the course sounds amazing!

I am so pleased to see this flourishing of student excitement, co-curricular and for credit entrepreneurship at Yale.  What’s next?

I am Teaching at Yale School of Management

August 27th, 2014

Big news!  I’m co-teaching a class in January at the Yale School of Management on the Management of Software Development.  For those not familiar with it, SOM is Yale’s business school.  They have created a new entrepreneurship center and putting a lot more funding and emphasis in this area.  More on that later.  For now, more about the class.

Here is the official course description:
Mgt 656 Management of Software Development

Software is a ubiquitous component of the increasingly technology-driven economy: “Software is eating the world” in the words of John Hermann. Students in this course will learn 1) management of the software development lifecycle and 2) basic technology skills for creating modern mobile web applications. The management techniques will include hiring technical teams as well as planning, implementing, and maintaining software projects. We will focus on agile methods for software implementation including extreme programming (XP), scrum, and others. Students will use these techniques to develop a mobile web application in teams. The application will require an understanding of Linux, OS virtualization, networking, version control, databases, and programming (HTML, JavaScript, & CSS). No familiarity with these technologies is assumed, but would benefit the student. The course is most appropriate for students planning to found new ventures or work in leadership roles in the technology sector.

The class is open to Yale College students, as well.  So, if you’re interested, please join.

Kyle Jensen is co-teaching with me, thankfully.  (And since he is the one with a PhD, he is probably the official “professor” for the course.  Not sure the official designations for such things.)  Kyle is a serial entrepreneur with multiple scientific journal articles and patents to his name.  Locally, he is also known for creating which is the developer group with weekly meetings.

While I have a CS major and do speak geek, it has been a while since I have been hands on with production code.  Kyle will be leading the technical parts of the course and I will be speaking much more to the management side of things.  We do want students to get some hands on experience with tech and process to have a more visceral understanding of the topics.  There is nothing like checking-in code and deploying to production to give you a sense of what a technical team “does all day.”

As we plan the syllabus, we are realizing even more that there is a lot of material to cover in 8 weeks.  That said, I’d love to have your ideas and pointers on examples, case studies, exercises or guest speakers.  Can’t wait to share more with you when we’re ready.