12x12 Initiative Launches to Encourage Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Massachusetts

by Pamela Vaughan

Date

Apr 30, 2010 9:03:00 AM

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The 12x12 (twelvebytwelve) initiative was launched today. 12x12 is a new initiative formed to encourage entrepreneurship in Massachusetts by bringing the experience of the state's leading CEOs and venture capitalists together to identify, enable, and mentor the next generation of technology entrepreneurs.

It's been apparent for a while that Massachusetts is at the forefront of innovative thinking, and this new initiative is a step in the right direction toward continued emphasis on and support of Massachusett's innovation ecosystem.  HubSpot is happy to report that Founder and CEO Brian Halligan will be contributing to the 12x12 initiative. As an organization that is proud to be a part of such a diverse entrepreneurial and innovative startup community, HubSpot is extremely supportive of this new initiative and its effort to shape the next generation of entrepreneurs. With Boston having such a concentrated focus on innovation and marketing, we are looking forward to recognizing Boston as the Madison Avenue of next generation marketing. 

How the 12x12 Program Works:

  • Participants create teams comprised of one CEO, one VC, and one ‘next generation' entrepreneur to launch a new company.
  • CEOs will contribute their unused ideas for their next great company, recognizing that many of the best ideas come from senior executives and ongoing exposure in the most innovative sectors of the Massachusetts tech hub.
  • VCs will assist in recruitment, strategy, and procurement of limited first-round financing.
  • Both CEOs and VCs will provide ongoing mentorship and actively engage with the entrepreneur in the formation of the new enterprise.

12x12 was co-founded by Andy Ory, founder and CEO of Acme Packet, and Michael Greeley, founder and general partner, Flybridge Capital Partners. 

The idea to create 12x12 came from Greeley and Ory's conversations within the Tech Sector Collaborative, an 18-member group of digital technology leaders from Massachusetts' industry and academia, which evolved in response to Gov. Deval Patrick's call to collaborate to enhance the competitiveness of the sector. The group works across the state's digital industries -- including information technology, wireless communications, social media, robotics, video games, and Internet infrastructure -- to build strategies that enhance Massachusetts' standing as a global tech hub. 

The first 12x12 company, LighterLiving, was also announced today. LighterLiving is an online community, blog and marketplace for holistic fitness and well-being, founded by Marjolein Brugman, a pioneer in the Pilates method who has dedicated her life to helping others lead healthy lives.

"We have an incredibly diverse technology industry here in Massachusetts leading innovation in cutting-edge areas such as robotics, health IT, videogames, clean energy, social media, Internet marketing, and many others," said Greeley. "Great ideas by revolutionary entrepreneurs fueled this transformation. Our goal with 12x12 is to accelerate the idea/capital/entrepreneur match to form the next generation of great companies here in Massachusetts and to help these businesses succeed through great mentoring," he added.  

"I'm extremely excited to be a part of this new initiative," said, Halligan. "Massachusetts -- and Boston in particular -- is such a hub for innovative thinking, and it's monumentally important that we continue to support the entrepreneurs who make up and are expanding upon this innovation ecosystem."

Halligan is an active member of the Boston startup community and also serves as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center.

Check out Scott Kirner's article about the new initiative in his Innovation Economy column on Boston.com, and visit http://twelvebytwelve.org for additional information about 12x12 and who else is involved.

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