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December Entrepreneur Spotlight

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For the month of December, we chose an extremely local entrepreneur, Tim Rowe. Tim is the founder of Venture Cafe and the CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center (home of the YC Mini-Hack series). Tim’s career as an entrepreneur started when he was in middle school, selling software and computers to the parents of his friends. A few years later in high school, he was employing six of his friends at his Tech Consulting firm, with his biggest customer being the original Empire Collateral pawn shop. Next, Tim went to college to (in his words) “not miss out on the opportunity of being a rounded person.” As an already successful businessman, Tim found that college is most rewarding when your goal is to learn who you are and to learn…
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November Entrepreneur Spotlight

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This month’s spotlight features Joshua Summers, a Boston entrepreneur that works in the ad-tech industry. Joshua was a Paypal executive in Boston before leaving at the end of 2012 to found Clypd, where he is currently CEO. Clypd is a company that is trying to bring advertising in TV into the forefront of technology; using easy-to-access data such as demographics and major purchases, Joshua and Clypd hope to target advertising with both cable and satellite providers. This will create a better experience for the viewer and more effective advertising for the companies that are paying to be on air (very similar to what Google and Facebook are doing with user generated data driving online advertising). After a Series-A funding round in early 2013 that went well into seven figures, the…
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October Entrepreneur Spotlight

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This spotlight will be on one of YC’s most notable alumni, Toni Aloko. Toni is a young entrepreneur that has taken his love for tennis and turned it into a business. Practicegigs.com is a platform that athletes can use to set up either friendly or competitive matches with people of different skill caliber. How did he get it started? Through Youth CITIES. Practicegigs began in the annual March to May incubator. The network, mentorship, and resources that were made available to him have landed him in Atlas Ventures, where he now is the head of a five person team coming from three countries and four universities. With his product launch ten weeks away, Wharton is going to have to wait another year for this one.
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March-to-May Bootcamp 2013 Finals

March-to-May Bootcamp 2013 Finals

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Congratulations to the Youth CITIES March-to-May Bootcamp Class of 2013!! The March-to-May Bootcamp is Youth CITIES' flagship program and designed for middle school and high school students from diverse backgrounds. The students work with real-world executives to brainstorm different ideas to start a venture with social impact for their community. Youth CITIES partners with prominent executives from the business and nonprofit communities who teach fundamentals of leadership, entrepreneurship, presentation skills, and business plan creation. These professionals also share strategies for leveraging business principles to drive change in society. The rigorous 10-week bootcamp inspires, educates, and equips youth to take action and make a difference. Youth CITIES moves beyond the academics of business, to framing real-life problems, real-life constraints, and real-life success criteria as the launch pad for students to create…
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Teen Sells $30M Company to Yahoo!

Teen Sells $30M Company to Yahoo!

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Nick D’Aloisio is 17 years old and still in high school. He is also the inventor of an algorithm that summarizes long-form news articles into shorter reads for smartphone users. He recently sold his company, Summly, to Yahoo! for an estimated $30 million. Quick success? I’d say so, and D’Aloisio would agree: “When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly”, says D’Aloisio in a statement posted on summly.com. Since the sale of Summly, there has been a flurry of articles about D’Aloisio and his success as a teen entrepreneur. But, if you think that Summly is going to become as ubiquitous as Facebook, don’t bother downloading the app just yet. Effectively, Yahoo! will shut down the Summly app. According to Yodel Anecdotal (The Official Yahoo! Blog),…
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March Mini-Hack Recap

March Mini-Hack Recap

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Last week, McCall Middle School provided Youth CITIES with another rockstar student to present at the Youth CITIES Monthly Mini-Hack. Seventh-grader Vara Mathiyalakan shared his vision for Project N.E.A.H.R. (Nuerological Electro-chemical-controlled Artificial Humanoid Robot). Got all that?? Vara's project seeks to combine some cutting-edge technologies to allow an average person to control a humanoid robot using their thoughts alone. Inspired in part by this 60 Minutes video, he proposes to enhance augmented reality glasses (like Google Glass, for example) and incorporate developments in neuroscience to communicate with a robot. **To respect the intellectual property rights of Vara and Project N.E.A.H.R., this blog cannot share images of the designs presented during the Mini-Hack.** This month's Mini-Hack featured small group discussions, which were lively and generated great ideas for Project NEAHR to…
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2013 March-to-May Bootcamp Kicks Off

2013 March-to-May Bootcamp Kicks Off

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Last Thursday (March 7th), Boston City Councilman and Youth CITIES Board Member Tito Jackson emceed the 2013 Kickoff for Youth CITIES’ flagship program, March-to-May Bootcamp. Students participating in this year’s bootcamp got a chance to meet each other, our team of mentors, and some VIPs in the Youth CITIES community, such as Board Members and sponsors. The Kickoff featured a panel discussion with the following friends of Youth CITIES: Margaret Efthim, Youth CITIES Bootcamp alumna and Founder of Ready, Set, Golf Alex Finkelstein, General Partner at Spark Capital and Youth CITIES Board Member Greg Selkoe, Founder of Karmaloop.com and Youth CITIES Board Member Varun Solan, entrepreneur and advisor for Community Work Services   Energy built up at the Kickoff carried over to the first Saturday session with instructor Dan Ross, CEO of Promisec,…
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High School Runners – Adidas Wants You!

High School Runners – Adidas Wants You!

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Attention High School Students: If you are highly creative, enthusiastic, and expressive, if you are tuned-into the latest trends in shoes and clothes, Adidas wants to talk with you!!   Adidas is seeking high school students in Boston to participate in a focus group that will discuss sneaker and apparel trends. The focus group will gather on Friday, March 1st, so do not wait to respond. Contact Vicky (vicky@youthcities.org) for more information if you would like to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell Adidas what you think!
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February Mini-Hack Recap

February Mini-Hack Recap

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This month, Allyson Allen visited the Mini-Hack and presented a problem relating to her work for the City of Cambridge. As Employment Planning and Development Director in the Office of Workforce Development, Allyson works with many nonprofit and community organizations to help young people (age 14 and up) find meaningful work and internship opportunities that will develop their skills and connect them with potential future employers. Allyson came to the Mini-Hack seeking to brainstorm ways for businesses to become more involved with young people through recruitment activities, building meaningful relationships, and going beyond “plans for outreach”. This month, the Mini-Hack tried to apply a problem-solving methodology adapted from IDEO’s human-centered approach to design thinking. We began by brainstorming wild ideas individually and, then, collaborating to build off of those ideas.…
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Nemo Knocks

Nemo Knocks

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Last weekend, winter storm Nemo dumped more than 2 feet of snow on most of New England. In some places, high winds led to drifts piling 5 feet or higher. We all saw the fresh white landscape. We all dealt with the snow. Some of us are still dealing with it. What does any of it have to do with Youth CITIES? On Saturday morning, while I was shoveling out my car (see pic;-), I was telling my wife about the snow storms I experienced growing up in the ‘90s. (My wife is from Jamaica; and, although, she’s lived in the US for 8 years, this was her first official blizzard.) I recounted stories of my two younger brothers and I traversing the neighborhood like it was a frozen tundra…
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