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C3 Events and Announcements: Week of February 23, 2015

A note from Hillary, who is leaving C3 to move to another CIC team (I know, we can’t believe it either!)
I just want to thank you guys so much for being such an awesome community to work with these past few years! I’m excited for the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of dedicated space at CIC, but I know I’ll miss you guys. Fortunately, I’ll be right down the hall, so it will be easy for me to visit! And please feel free to drop in and say “hi” next time you’re over on the other side of the 5th floor, getting a Nespresso or doing some color printing to BooBoo.

Highlighted Upcoming Events

[C3er Event!] FWD monthly: (Re)imagining Communities with Technology
Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 – 9:00pm
5th Floor, Venture Cafe
At this FWDmonthly, discussion will focus on how technology is re-imagining our communities and the initiatives we can support to push innovation and growth here in Massachusetts.
More Info & RSVP

Crash Course in Device Design for the Software Wizard
Wednesday, February 25, 6:00 – 8:00pm
11th Floor, Singapore Room
Dr. Jamie Nichol will be presenting a succinct, engaging two hour crash course in device design.
More Info & RSVP

RZ Lightning Talks on Android and iOS
Wednesday, February 25, 6:00 – 8:00pm
50 Milk Street, Boston, 17th Floor, Milky Way Room
Lightning talk will focus on some of the newest technologies, like iOS 8, Swift, Android L, and much more.
More Info & RSVP

[C3er Event!] Strummerville Ukelele Club
Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
101 Main Street, 15th Floor, Game Room
Oyez, oyez, Camberville uke players, unite! All levels are welcome, from first-timers to old hands. Learn a few songs and have a good time of it! All you need is a uke. Questions? Email
More Info & RSVP

Hot Chocolate and Waffles with the C3 Team!
Thursday, February 26, 10:30 am – 12 pm

5th Floor, Venture Cafe
Unfortunately, the C3 team does not currently have a solution to recent weather problems… but as a temporary fix, we can give you hot chocolate. We’ll be setting up a station with Equal Exchange hot chocolate, lots of add-ons, and fresh waffles in the Venture Cafe.

For more events and information, see the CIC Blog.


CIC Announces Partnership with Bodyscapes!

Calling all fitness buffs, gym rats, and those of you out there with new years’ resolutions! CIC is proud to announce an experimental partnership with Bodyscapes, a fitness center with locations throughout the Cambridge and Boston metro area. All CIC clients can now enjoy completely free access to Bodyscapes’ Kendall Square location at off-peak hours (9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Monday-Friday).

A regular membership at Bodyscapes costs $91 per month, so CIC is glad to provide this significant benefit to our members. In addition, for those of you that cannot make the off-peak hours, CIC has also negotiated a $79/month all-access rate of which all our clients can take advantage. There is no annual contract, sign-up fee, or termination fee, and this arrangement includes access to all five Bodyscapes locations at any time. Your health plan may even subsidize this further, so be sure to double-check!

To sign up, bring your CIC keycard to Bodyscapes and tap it at the registration desk. You will also be given a Bodyscapes access card. If you are signing up for a paid monthly membership, you will be asked to pay for your first month (prorated from your sign-up date!) and your last month.

We hope you all enjoy this benefit! This is an experiment, and we hope it goes well for both CIC and Bodyscapes. We also ask that you be respectful of the Bodyscapes space, its members, and its equipment, just as you do at CIC. Welcome, Bodyscapes, to the extended CIC family!

image courtesy of Bodyscapes.


Sharalike, a C3 company won Boston TechJam 2014

Emotions were running high on Thursday for the pitch contest of Boston TechJam, 2014 that was taking place in Faneuil Hall. 50 companies applied, 6 were finalists, including 2 company that are working from C3  :

And Sharalike won! We were crowned by Mayor Marty Walsh, in front of 4000 people from the Boston Tech Community! Amazing feeling, and big milestone for us. More info and the video of the pitch on Sharalike Blog We owe CIC and our C3 community: We still remember our first public pitch that we did for the C3 Pitch Contest back in November 2013. We also held a dry run of our TechJam pitch last Wednesday in the CIC which allowed us to collect feedback and ideas from fellow co-workers to improve our pitch. Thank you so much C3 & CIC! Etienne, co-founder of Sharalike & the Sharalike Team working from C3: Aymeric, Brandi and Vincent About Sharalike: Sharalike sorts your photo tsunami, selects the best pictures and creates animated slideshows in seconds. Sharalike is available on the web and on the App Store

PROFILES IN INNOVATION: Andi and Ali of FWD.US say: The Tech Community Needs Immigrants

Andi Dankert and Ali Procopio of FWD.US Boston

Andi Dankert and Ali Procopio of FWD.US Boston

C3 PORTRAIT: Andi Dankert and Ali Procopio of FWD.US

WHO: Andi Dankert and Ali Procopio


WHERE: Dankert: hometown: Fredonia, NY; current resident: Somerville. Procopio: hometown and current residence: Warwick, RI.

EDUCATION: Dankert: SUNY Fredonia and New School (graduate), NY. Procopio: Dartmouth College, NH.


TYPICALLY FOUND IN C3: The area formerly known as Fitness (What they dub “The artist formerly known as Prince”)

CELEB THEY’D LOVE TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: Both claimed “Jeff Buckley,” whom both agreed was a “brilliant singer.” In fact, the two bonded over their admiration for the artist during Ali’s job interview, which clinched the deal. Ali says the only celebrity image in her room growing up was a poster of Buckley.

FAVE CIC/C3 KITCHEN FOOD: For Andi it’s the Pirates Booty White Cheddar Puffs; “I’m gluten free free,” she says, “so it’s really good.” For Ali it’s the peanut M&Ms. “You take 6, and it’s super satisfying,” she says.

FAVE THING ABOUT C3: Everyone’s so friendly and supportive.


“It’s a political, non-profit, startup,” says Andi Dankert of FWD.US. That’s a lot to take in, she admits. But she does a great job of explaining it.


As director of the Boston office, Dankert and her colleague Ali Procopio set up shop at C3 last month to spread the word that immigration issues need to be a priority concern for all startups. And that political action is necessary.

Why? Says Dankert: Because every company that expects to grow will eventually require talent that immigrants can provide. Because research shows that each immigrant innovator creates three new jobs for the American economy (Consider that HubSpot’s CEO is an immigrant). And because roughly 50% of Ph.D.s granted by Massachusetts universities are given to immigrants, many of whom, because of current policy restrictions, are forced to leave the country, thereby bleeding America of talent that has been nurtured locally.


Dankert further explains that Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, became painfully aware of how the immigration issue affects the future of technology in America when he was teaching a class in California and asked a group of talented students about their plans for the future. One of the responders expressed fear of not being able to attend college because of undocumented status and lack of in state tuition help. Zuckerberg wanted to know how many others were affected by the same problem, and several additional hands shot up. Zuckerberg called up his former Harvard College roommate Joe Green, who had experience in organizing social movements, and solicited his help in taking on the issue for the technology community. FWD.US was born in April 2013.

Dankert joined the New York City office of FWD.US last August, after working for several social causes, including for former NYC mayor Bloomberg, Americorps, and in Kosovo. When FWD.US needed someone to rally Boston to the cause, Dankert jumped at the opportunity.

Two weeks later she hired Procopio, who studied immigration issues as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

The duo have been organizing at tech companies, rallying public support and getting the word out all over New England ever since.


New England and New York sport very different entrepreneurial cultures, according to Dankert. “Boston’s tech community is so modest compared to NYC,” she says. “Brilliant people here are doing amazing things, but generally people aren’t talking about it. In New York, there’s a lot of talk.”

Dankert and Procopio say they’ve been doing a lot of talking. They’re trying (1) to get the tech community to know thatFWD.US is in Cambridge to work with them on advocacy efforts, (2) to acquire stories about successes and challenges of dealing with immigration issues to share with politicians, and (3) to facilitate more communication among tech colleagues concerning immigration.

They have been speaking at and hosting various engagements and events.

As a startup, they have an app, #BuiltByImmigrants which uses social media to circulate stories through and help people connect with their legislatures.

Their advice for social startups:

(1) really understand the community you’re in;

(2) capitalize on efforts that have already started;

(3) create community;

(4) invest in the community; “we are in Boston to stay,” declares Dankert;

(5) talk to people who are excited and reinvigorate them.

Dankert and Procopio’s biggest challenge has been following up with people who are motived and excited about the work, but are so incredibly busy. Andi tells the story of someone who responded to her 9th e-mail, who thanked her for the persistence.

Dankert and Procopio have one last thing to say to everyone at CIC and C3: “Come talk to us!”


Bananas at C3

Bananas are a wonderful and timeless marketing example. If you believe in creationism, heck, there was even a divine marketing plan. Bananas have a distinct color and shape. This allows anybody to instantly recognize them. The unique name translates into all major languages. Do you know the Zulu translation for Banana? Yes, you’re right. It’s Banana. On top of that, two words: Brand Recognition. With only a fraction of the branding budget, Bananas outperform McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

Amazon’s new focus is packaging. You may have noticed on your last order that you now have an option for frustration-free. Not only are Bananas frustration free, the packaging is organic. Auto-recycling is build-in by nature. Take that Amazon! Plus, unlike other processed food, Bananas don’t need refrigeration.

Nutritional value? Wow!
Nutritional Values of a Banana

Let’s go Bananas!

Caught between the heat of the moment and a desperate heart for a business idea

Would you like to get married, right now, before the sun sets? “To whom?” should be your first response. Once you know to whom, then you’d like to know more: looks, character, what does he or she do for a living, their definition of success, their future plans, and much more. As a society, we developed social norms around all the stuff we do before getting married. It’s called dating. Duh! During the dating phase you sample, try out – and if it’s not a fit then you keep looking.

…obvious, but perhaps not.

Disney’s last hit movie Frozen sung to us how a young girl was caught between the heat of the moment and her desperate heart wanting to get married to someone, who she just met. Well, that’s the stereotype we have of entrepreneurs. That entrepreneurship is about taking on risks, to jump into the cold water and quickly learning how to swim before you plunge into the big waves of the business world – quit 6-digit salary job for launching a startup. These high rollers make for nice news articles and gather the crowd. They keep us glued to the next news story.

Most of my time, I spend on risk reduction, not taking on risk. Just like you would evaluate your life partner before getting married, you test your business idea. It’s commonly referred to as the minimal viable product. You create the business idea you have with the least possible amount of resources, such as your time and your money. Once you have the minimal viable product, you can take it for a test drive, try it out. That will give you a much better idea if this is for you. Go on a date with your business idea before committing.