, Led by Balter & Hodges, Wants Boston to Learn New Tricks

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Our passion is growing the startup community. But it can extend beyond entrepreneurship,” Hodges says, to include business education for companies in any sector and at any stage (for example, topics like e-mail marketing or customer development).

“The course schedule will evolve pretty dramatically over the next couple months. We see this as a community project. We see this snowballing as people come to us,” she says. “It will morph into its own animal when people step up and see what they want to learn and share with the community.”

The existence of TechStars, Dogpatch Labs, Cambridge Innovation Center, MassChallenge, Intrepid Labs (also inspired by General Assembly), Greentown Labs, newer projects like Bolt (for hardware companies) and Boston Startup School (for college seniors and recent grads), and university-based efforts such as the Harvard Innovation Lab and Experiment Fund, means Boston-area entrepreneurs have no shortage of gathering spots to connect with their peers, hold events, attend seminars and classes, and get work done (oh yeah, that).

But Hodges sees a big opportunity to complement existing resources. “I think we can add additional mentorship,” Hodges says. To that end,’s advisors and instructors also include Mike Troiano from Holland-Mark, Christopher O’Donnell from HubSpot, and Aaron White from Boundless Learning. And many more are sure to sign on in the coming weeks. In any case, it’s all a side project for Hodges and Balter, who are keeping their day jobs at FitnessKeeper and BzzAgent/Smarterer, respectively.

“For us, this is not about building a cash cow. It’s about helping the ecosystem evolve,” says Hodges. “I want to see the community get smarter and build stronger connections. By bringing people together, who knows what ideas will be born? Anything could happen.”

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