Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jeff Taylor on Innovation in Mass and the MassTLC Innovation unConference


Serial entrepreneur Jeff Taylor chatted with us at MassTLC about the state of innovation in Massachusetts and what the MassTLC Innovation unConference means to him.

Jeff is the founder of six Internet companies including Monster.com and Eons. Currently, Jeff is launching a new startup called buffalo.dj, a talent management company for the electronic dance scene and his own music festival (think Coachella and Bonaroo). For more info, check out Scott Kirsner's article about it here.

MassTLC: What makes Boston a great place for incubating innovations?

Jeff Taylor: The vibrant startup community in Massachusetts, including organizations like MassTLC and the and incubator programs like MassChallenge and TechStars, contribute to our powerful ecosystem for innovation. As a mentor, I'm invested in the startup scene in Mass. It's not just a place where I provide guidance, I also learn from the entrepreneurs. They keep me sharp, and that's part of what's so special about the Massachusetts innovation scene. It's thriving and growing and everyone benefits from the knowledge and drive.

MassTLC: What drives innovation here in Massachusetts?

Jeff Taylor: The recent micro-investment climate is a driving factor in local innovation. I'm amazed by the great gamesmanship in our state, bringing new ideas to market at the faction of the cost. Instead of requiring $1-3 million in funding, companies are getting started with much, much less. I also think educational institutions and the young entrepreneurs here drive innovation.

MassTLC: What's your favorite unConference memory?

Jeff Taylor: Last year I organized a session on Brand vs. Quant. The room was just slightly too small, so I rallied the troops to find a bigger room. On the way, I asked each person to tell others they passed to join their session. It kept growing to over 60 people and ended up as a fascinating, dynamic group discussion. People still tell me today how inspiring last year's session was.

MassTLC: How can entrepreneurs get the most out of this year's unConference?

Jeff Taylor: Woody Allen once said, "80% of success in life is showing up." It is incumbent on the attendees to get out of their shell, meet new people, share new ideas, bring personal challenges, your unique expertise, and your unique brand to the conference. It's important to really expand from your circle of personal acquaintances and friends at the conference to meet others who can help you and challenge you to grow.

Join MassTLC, Jeff Taylor and many others from the tech industry for the 2011 MassTLC Innovation unConference this Friday, October 28 at Hynes Convention Center from 8-4:30. Sessions will be created the day of by attendees and experts-propose any topic you care about and lead a session! Follow MassTLC unConference on Twitter and Facebook.

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