entrepreneurship, Innovation unConference, michael skok, unConference

Michael Skok on the Innovation unConference, Entrepreneurship and Startup Secrets

Michael, tell us about your
involvement with the MassTLC Innovation unConference
The Innovation unConference is such an important initiative for entrepreneurs, innovation and
the Boston technology ecosystem.  In
order for innovation to succeed, our community needs to create forums and
platforms for continuous, collaborative learning.  That means bringing together the best talent
in our industry to share their experiences, insights and best practices. What
better way to get that learning than to have entrepreneurs and innovators
engaging amongst themselves, continually refreshing, refining and improving. This
is where both the mentors and mentees benefit equally.  I think what MassTLC and all the mentors are
doing for the community is phenomenal. I’m psyched to be a part of it this year
and for years to come.
You are passionate about
entrepreneurship and innovation.  Tell us
a bit about your passion and your endeavor, Startup Secrets.
I look back on my fortune as an entrepreneur, I wish I could rewind the clock and
start my first ventures again with the knowledge I have today.  I call this the unfair competitive advantage,
and although it is impossible for me to go back in time, I know I can put the
lessons I learned to use for today’s entrepreneurs.  This is why I started Startup Secrets. It is but one way to
give back to our thriving community of entrepreneurs and support industry
efforts such as the Mass TLC unConference, now in its fifth year. Startup
Secrets was also propelled by my realizing that there is a mentorship gap, a
deeper need to connect those with extensive practical experience with the new
talented leaders in our growing startup community. So the format I follow for
Startup Secrets is a collaborative one – I bring together successful
entrepreneurs to share their stories and insights, so we can collectively give
back and help the new leaders, and learn in the process.  I see my efforts and the efforts top
entrepreneurs as a catalyst where we all learn as much from the emerging
companies as their leaders learn from us. This is why I have committed to
finding the best founders, the top innovators, and the most talented product
managers, to come and participate in Startup Secrets.
You are a strong believer
and supporter of all things cloud and open source. Can you comment on what
cloud and open-source innovations will come from Boston next year?
Drupal is the largest open source community in the world – a community that has built tremendous value for businesses. There is a very-well established Drupal movement in Boston and one Boston-based company that is leading the charge behind commercializing it is Acquia. Boston has a heritage of tackling very hard problems – we are not afraid of doing things at the infrastructure level, which allows innovations such as the cloud to come forth for networking, storage, database, and big data. We will continue to see Boston having some of the best startups. The Boston community has a great, diverse culture, combing arts and technology, and I predict that some of most interesting innovations will come from that combination of art and science.
How can entrepreneurs
connect with you and the Startup Secrets track?
best place is to start is on my website- http://mjskok.com/; entrepreneurs can also
join me at the Harvard iLab for the Startup Secret series. The series offer the core
aspects of running a startup and an opportunity to meet a number of the
entrepreneurs in the audience. We will create other programs and think about
other ways to create more collaboration and continuously learning in 2013. We
trust that having three of North Bridge’s partners at the unConference will
provide us with inspiration about such new initiatives
next year.
Michael Skok joined North Bridge Venture
Partners in 2002 to seek out great entrepreneurs and lead innovative software
investments.  Prior to this, Michael had himself been an entrepreneur and
CEO in the software business for 21 years.  Michael has invested in many
great entrepreneurs who have built over a $1bn of value focusing on large
market changing technologies and disruptive business models such as SaaS, Cloud
Computing, Open Source and Mobile. Michael’s passion for innovation and
entrepreneurship is also fueling his work mentoring and developing the next
generation of entrepreneurs. For example he is currently developing and leading
workshops such as the “Startup Secrets” series with the Harvard iLab.
His work in this regard can be found online at www.mjskok.com

Upcoming Events


Related Articles