Nathalie from Swissnex Boston

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Hi, my name is Nathalie. I’m a former bachelor student in business administration and I’m working for two months as a sabbatical at Swissnex Boston. Swissnex is a scientific consulate of Switzerland. Its mission is to bridge knowledge and competencies in science, education, art and innovation between Switzerland and North America.

I had an exciting first week in Boston. Swissnex has a meeting with all employees every Monday morning. My colleague Antoinette is my contact person in Boston and introduced me to all employees. She’s from the School of Management Fribourg too. She’s doing an internship at swissnex and at the same time writing her master thesis.

We had meetings with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) and MassChallenge (MC). VMS supports entrepreneurial ventures with skilled volunteer mentors and MC organizes the most important annual global startup competition in the world by reuniting 128 startups during 4 months, from June to October. MC acts as an accelerator program for ventures.

We also joined events like the Boston TechBreakfast and the MIT International Innovation Symposium (IIS). These events are really interesting, because startups pitch their company ideas in only a few minutes. Main goal is to present the ideas and to make contacts with potential partners and investors.

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Then we had the chance to visit a Harvard Business School (HBS) class. The dynamics in during discussions is amazing compared to the classes in my school time. The HBS students are way more active and willing to participate during their classes. They discuss case studies they had to prepare. Finally, Antoinette and I went working as volunteers at MassChallenge for 2 half days for the second round judging. 350 entrepreneurs have to pitch their business idea in front of a panel of 5 to 6 judges…a very stressful moment for them. The results will be announced on May 21st and we will go to the event.

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