5 short years ago, Ashkan Afkhami and I were sitting on Northeastern’s campus talking about Boston’s startup community and what could be done to help better organize everything it had to offer.
Not long after that, I found myself at the unConference at Sun Microsystem in Burlington listening to Scott Kirsner and Tim Rowe’s “TurboCharging the Entrepreneurial Culture in Massachusetts” session where they talked about how there needed to be a central place for all the resources and events in Boston’s tech scene. On that day, I nervously raised my hand declaring I wanted to take on that challenge.
That was the day Greenhorn Connect was born.
These last 5 years have been amazing. We’ve seen so much growth in the ecosystem and played a small part in making it better. We’ve helped many find jobs, connected thousands with the resources they need, and been a voice for the community. I’m proud to have been part of making that a reality and honored to have had a great team and community partners help Greenhorn Connect thrive over the years.
From the beginning, I had the goal of Greenhorn Connect helping organize the Boston tech community and making it easier for newcomers 10 years after its start. Now, after 5 successful years of Greenhorn’s life, I realize that fresh ideas and new, local leadership can take Greenhorn Connect to places in the next 5 years I never could.
That’s why I’m excited to announce that TCN, The Capital Network, is acquiring Greenhorn Connect. Of all the organizations I spoke to about Greenhorn Connect, TCN had the best combination of resources and a shared vision for serving the Boston startup community. I am excited they’re taking the reigns to lead us into the second half of that goal.
Greenhorn Connect has always been resource constrained with our small, passionate team, and TCN will be able to alleviate some of that by mixing our team with theirs. Our teams have complementary skills and established relationships, which will enhance and grow both missions.
TCN is committed to continuing our current programming and building on what we’ve created. Expect to see our Student Dinners starting this fall and the Greenhorn Summit is very far along in planning for our annual fall event.
I want to thank Paul, Ariel, and Eric for being awesome throughout this process and I’m excited to see what they can do with TCN as the next chapter in Greenhorn’s history is written.
As for me, Tim Rowe told me once, “it takes as much effort to start something small as it does something big.” I’m excited to put that to the test as I set out on the next steps in my startup career. I’m currently applying all that I learned in building, managing, and ultimately selling Greenhorn Connect to my next venture already in progress: Lighthouse, an app to help you be a better manager.
Thanks to everyone that has helped Greenhorn Connect along the way. This day would never have come without you.
PS: I’d like to call out in particular a handful of people that have been instrumental in Greenhorn Connect’s history.
To key supporters, Thank YOU
- Scott Kirsner for giving us so much press and support over the years.
- Tim Rowe for helpful advice and helping spark Greenhorn Connect with the MassTLC session with Scott.
- Gus Weber for being the first sponsor of Greenhorn Connect. We wouldn’t be here today without the ongoing support we’ve received from Microsoft and it’s people like Walter Somol, Abby Fichtner, Sara Spalding, Betsy Aoki, and Cathy Wissink.
- Greg Hoffmeister and Jon Frisch of T3 Advisors for being amazing supporters since our early days.
- Microsoft has been an amazing host and sponsor to so many events including almost every event we’ve ever put on. The tech ecosystem is much stronger due to them.
- David Ekelund for being Greenhorn’s startup lawyer who understood our needs and was always helpful.
- Our many partners & sponsors along the way including: NEVCA, thoughtbot, Acquia, Grasshopper, the City of Boston and their 1in3 program, Cort & Jake for helping in the early days as they hustled on DartBoston, Wayfair, Carbonite, Sonos, Yesware, and so many others.
…and the team, THANK YOU
- Ashkan Afkhami for being crazy enough to cofound with me on starting this business.
- Pardees Safizadeh for being the first person to join our team and give us a real voice on social media for Greenhorn.
- Ian Stanzyk for helping with our job board which was a key revenue stream during our history.
- Paul Hlatky for rising to the occasion and doing a great job taking the reigns when I moved.
- Angela Lei and Will Cox for being awesome team members as Paul took the reigns.
- Ariel Winton and Eric Pasinski for being great team members today and going forward as we transition with TCN.
And finally, thank you to the community.
You all are awesome. It’s always been a blast serving this community and I appreciate all your support. I hope you’ll do the same for Sam and the TCN team.