There are certainly more than a few universities both locally and across the country that feature entrepreneurship programs. In fact, every university and most standalone colleges have an entrepreneurship program from the giants of Babson, where entrepreneurship is their DNA, to the halls of MIT, where I also teach, to excellent programs at BU, BC, UNH and across all the campuses of UMass. Very simply, a university cannot be taken seriously without entrepreneurship studies in their program at some level since. in fact, entrepreneurship is not about tech startups. Real entrepreneurship is about innovation and very few universities are as well-equipped as is Tufts, which is recognized as one of the top research universities in the U.S.
That reality came home to me recently when Simin Meydani and I, as co-founders of our new startup, VF24, a grab-and-go consumer juice based on deep science, presented two weeks ago at the annual MA Ventures and Mass Life Sciences awards. Sponsored jointly by Massachusetts' venture capital firm and the state's Center of Life Sciences, 25 companies were selected to present.
Five of those were founded at Tufts, two from UMass, one from Babson plus other affiliations. All superb, all based on deep science.
Of those 25, Jean Pham, and her cancer diagnostics and detection company, Cellens, was voted the People's Choice Award by the hundreds of people who attended this day-long event. Jean was in my course and others at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, before moving on to our highly regarded graduate program at The Gordon Institute. A perfect example of innovation and entrepreneurship at Tufts!
Just picking up on last week's blog theme of "Marketing is Everything", among the six projects selected for my marketing course this semester, two of these businesses, including VF24, are Tufts-founded companies.
In terms of marketing being absolutely critical to the success of any business, what I've learned through co-founding eleven companies, investing in 54, raising $840M+ with many failures, a few big successes, and lots of "in-betweens", are a few fundamental basics:
- a team of entrepreneurs and their ability to work closely together is fundamental to success
- science, analytics and metrics count more than the product itself
- nothing sells by itself, and professional marketing and sales processes are critical
I'm off to explore a day of entrepreneurship with back-to-back zooms and a standing every-Friday-at-11:00-call on a deep science surgical company from Mass General Brigham where I've been involved for a couple of years.
Nothing like working in innovation and entrepreneurship at every level and in every part of our how we think about business to stimulate new ideas and not get caught up in the Dog Days of August.
Enjoy what's looking like a superb weather weekend as I drive back late this afternoon from the VT hills to the NH beach.
At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales and marketing planning for the rest of this year, just connect with me for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this new rapidly changing world of sales and marketing. It's nothing like the old days of 2020! In the meantime, take a look at our 2022 book edition of Writing the 2022 Winning Sales Plan, or our Writing the Winning Marketing Plan in 2022.