>>Wed May 18, 2011
The next 15 days will be jam-packed with PresenTense Launch Nights; spanning two countries, five cities, 62 social ventures and 64 Fellows.
We decided to call this period the 15 Days of Innovation because there’s no better way to describe what our Fellows have accomplished. And we couldn’t be prouder. We’re unaware of any other organization that has launched so many social ventures in such a short time. It takes a lot of teamwork to lead up to this point, and we’d like to thank our over 400 active volunteers and staff from around the world for getting us to this point.
Five months ago, the Fellows started their journey with PresenTense through our Community Entrepreneur Partnership (CEP). That partnership, between their local communities and PresenTense, helps the Fellows and their ventures take root in a supportive environment where they can flourish. Throughout the program PresenTense Mentors and Coaches guide the Fellows, helping them overcome the everyday challenges involved in a new start-up, and the difficulties unique to social ventures.
We asked the Fellows about their experiences and many of them had great things to say about our program, as well as suggestions for how we can improve it in the future. (You can read more about the Fellows’ ventures and their experiences in the latest issue of PresenTense Magazine.) One of our Fellows, Brian Fox, praised his Coach, Stacy Goodman, a management consultant who has been volunteering her time with the Boston Fellowship.
>>Tue Nov 9, 2010
I first realized I was a pitch junkie at the 2006 Israel Venture Conference hosted by the then WolfBlock Law Firm in Philadelphia.
I experienced this amazing energy every time I heard another entrepreneur’s story and his/her vision for how this business was going to be the next 100x return.
What struck me the most while listening to the Israeli entrepreneurs’ presentations was the conviction with which these entrepreneurs spoke about their life long dream to start their business. Really, if it’s anything that an entrepreneur must possess – it is undying belief and dedication to his/her product/service.
But regardless of this fervor, most did not sell the audience. And even though I was excited thinking about the potential of their patent-pending technologies, I found myself dozing along with the professional venture capitalists who were clearly assessing whether or not it was worth their time.
As I’ve heard countless pitches since then – from my classmates, to Israeli entrepreneurs, start-up non profit professionals – ranging from 30 seconds to 15 minutes – I’ve realize that it is an art to put together the perfect pitch.
And I am by no means an expert. I still struggle with my own presentation skills, but after sharing a bit of wisdom last Thursday night at the NYC Fellowship Pitch Slam (check out pictures and video here) I’ve come up with the following additional suggestions to master the perfect pitch:
>>Fri Oct 8, 2010
We (Shelby and Naomi) spent Wednesday building IKEA furniture for our new NYC Hub. Situated on the 7th Floor at The Jewish Center on the Upper West Side, we have an amazing location with huge windows that let in phenomenal sunlight. Like the Hub in Jerusalem, we are working to build an open, inviting space where all members of the PresenTense community are welcome to stop by for a 2-hour work session, a cup of coffee or a half-hour cat nap on our new couch.
This atmosphere is a perfect synergy with our Landlord, The Jewish Center, which has positioned itself as The place of Modern Orthodox community, life and learning – and a building that is open to all, regardless of affiliation.
Our goal is to also create a space that breathes inspiration, innovation and experimentation. White boards, open meeting space, FAST wi-fi, bright colors and a library (to be collected) will give PresenTense and our community the physical resources we need to channel our pioneering spirit.
And by building the office from the ground up, it affirmed the sense of satisfaction that comes after any intense, focused effort. Like PresenTense, our Fellows, and our entrepreneurial community and Partners – we’ve learned that our ventures grow as a result of our toil, sweat and (sometimes) tears – so how appropriate that our Hub should reflect that same energy.