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What’s the best way to learn about becoming an entrepreneur?
Hear directly from people who have launched their own companies!

Whether you plan to enter one of the four main competitions or you simply want to learn more about the world of entrepreneurship, attend our Founder Workshops to gain direct, credible insights and advice from entrepreneurs who have built both large and small businesses and social enterprises.

Get face-to-face with experienced experts in a small environment of mini-lectures, focused panels, open questioning, and an opportunity to network and connect with the experts following their talks.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, there are two two-day Founder Workshops:

  • October 19 - 20th: Building Blocks of Strategy, Business Planning & Marketing
  • February 8 - 9th: Building Blocks of People, Sales and Fundraising

Individual workshop topics to include:

  • How to create, dream, innovate, and launch an idea from concept to reality
  • What’s a business plan and why do I need one?
  • How do I find the people to build my product or service idea?
  • How do I build a sales and marketing plan and find the people?
  • How do I form a company and how do I find the right legal help?
  • Finance and Fundraising 101
  • A panel of experts answering every question that you need to ask

The October 19th-20th Founders Workshop will be kicked off by Bill Cummings, a Tufts alum, the builder of the Cummings Properties, and the author of Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar PhilanthropistBill Cummings never aspired to be a billionaire and never acknowledged he was one until long after it happened. That's because it is not money that motivates him, but rather the immense enjoyment he gets from building and growing successful businesses.

Following Bill, on that Friday and expanding into Saturday for a half day, will be 15 other speakers from the Entrepreneurship Center, professors who have been successful entrepreneurs. You'll also have the opportunity to listen to and engage with four Tufts alums who are founders of successful companies that were born and incubated during their time Tufts. 


The February 8th-9th Founders Workshop will be kicked off by Diane Hessan, founder and CEO of C Space, a highly successful Boston marketing firm, acquired by giant Omnicom Group in 2011, where she remains as Chair. Diane served as the CEO of the Startup Institute.  She has launched Salient Ventures, where she “consolidates” her efforts as an investor and adviser to early-stage technology companies, most of them in Boston. “There are so many people that helped me,” Hessan says. “Now, I’m just trying to pay it forward.”  In addition to her work as Trustee of Tufts, Diane sits on the boards of Panera Bread, Eastern Bank, CoachUp, MassChallenge, and Brightcove.  

Following Diane’s keynote address, similar to the October Founders Workshop, this two-day program will refresh some of the concepts from October, while focusing more heavily on what it takes to scale a startup through building the organization, defining a culture, going to market through creating an efficient and effective sales organization, and, of course, the art and science of fundraising. This content will be delivered by another 15 real-life Tufts entrepreneurs.