I've always loved Rodney Dangerfield's Back To School. I laugh out loud just thinking about that film. This week I'm doing my own version of Back To School.
Monday night I did my annual talk with InSITE, the Columbia/NYU joint program that puts graduate students (mostly law school and business school students) into pro bono consulting gigs with startups. Apparently this is the fifth year in a row that I've met with them. The way we do the InSITE talk is I meet with the entire group (there are something like 40 to 50 members) in a classroom. I talk for a half an hour then take questions for half an hour. Then we go around the corner to a pub and hang out for a couple hours. It's the only event I do all year that involves pitchers of beer. And for that reason alone, its one of my favorites.
Then yesterday I went up to Cambridge Massachusetts to visit Tom Eisenmann's class at Harvard Business School. This is the second year in a row I've met with his class. I was interviewed by Jeff Bussgang for 90 minutes. I have to tell you that being interviewed by a colleague and/or peer is so much better. The questions were interesting, insightful, and super relevant. Here's a Storify summary of the session. I refute the word legendary in the title. The rest is spot on.
And finally, I'm headed down to Princeton this morning to talk to JP Singh's computer science class. Again, this is the second year in a row I've met with JP's class. My stated goal at Princeton this morning will be to convince these students to start their careers in NYC's tech community instead of some other startup hub around the world. I'll talk for 30 minutes and then take questions.
You might ask why I'm turning into Thornton Mellon this week. Yes, I do like being on college campuses. The energy, curiosity, and enthusiasm is infectious. But more than that, this is talent development. We want to see more students choosing a career in entrepreneurship, more bright people working in startups, and more bright people working in our portfolio. This year already, I've talked at Columbia twice, Brooklyn Poly once, and now this back to back to back Ivy League week. And more is coming. Talent development is that important to our business and our portfolio.