Start@Shea Rewind: A September to Remember

Group photo from the end of night 1 of Solstice! Post-Ideathon Sheananigans.

What a start to the year! Star@Shea’s been busy but oh boy was it worth it. We started off the month with our general info session where we introduced ourselves and all that we do around campus to students in 245 Beacon St. We had testimonials from the board members on what a special piece of campus the Shea Center is and how students can get involved. We had an audience of roughly 70 students and had wonderful conversations with so many of them as we wrapped up our first event of the year. The board made a ton of new recruits to the Shea Network and it was the first time we got to see so many of our student Shea connections in one room in a long time. It couldn’t have gone better.

Highlight pictures from the Start@Shea retreat! Many cookies were had as can be seen on the right.

On a more personal note, the Start@Shea E-Board went on our retreat up to Ossipee, New Hampshire for a bunch of club bonding and a much-needed break from the chaos that goes into college life. I left that weekend feeling like my relationship with every member of the board changed for the better. Please feel free to enjoy some pics from the teams Rocks and Jocks, Coachella, Spring Breakers, and Risque Business. I hope I made you proud Tom Cruise.

Group presentation stage of the Ideathon, judged by Meagan Loyst (’19) and Jason Alvarez-Cohen.

And now for the big one. This month, we put together a little event called Solstice, and boy oh boy what a weekend it was. The Solstice Entrepreneurship Conference is the biggest event we have ever put on with a full weekend of speakers, workshops, tailgates, and meetups with people from all over the country. We had 7 schools represented and 85 attendees. Our marketing lead and the point of contact for all materials promoting Solstice Alina Yan (CSOM ’23) reflects, “Two 2+ hours of late-night zoom calls per week during the entirety of summer wasn’t easy. In full honesty, I wanted to run away at times from the countless roadblocks we faced. However, everything that happened during the conference made it absolutely worth it. From the ideathon to the workshops and speakers, every one of our attendees took so much value from it. Whenever I asked an attendee how what they thought of the conference, they all said that they were inspired, motivated, and grateful to have an event like this accessible–some even said that this changed their intended and career trajectory for the better… just hearing that from a single person made the 100+ hours of planning worth it. I am so grateful for this team, our guests, and our attendees for making our idea happen…”

Audience view from our keynote with Meagan Loyst (’19) hosted by Maggie Yan (‘22).

The Solstice team worked so hard and it was so gratifying to see such a wonderful community of students come together to talk all things entrepreneurship. All of the speakers and panelists were a pleasure to talk to, tailgate with, and learn from. Our keynote speaker, Meagan Loyst (’19) had a conversation with Maggie Yan (CSOM ’22) about how she broke into venture capital and how we might follow in her footsteps. She was so great to meet and so open in giving advice to anyone looking for it or to just talk to us about anything from life at BC to crocs to VC–She also signed our whiteboard :)

Our closing speaker was Marissa Cohen (’19) of Silicon Valley Bank, and it was the perfect way to end a packed weekend! We want to say thank you so much to everyone who came, our VC Panelists Sam Loui, Steven Twomey (‘10), Christina Quinn (‘13), and CJ Reim (‘13), our founder panelists Anam Lakhani, Allison Byers, and Luke Mairo (’17) as well as our workshop leads Jenna Steichen (‘21), Ross Palley, Dorothy Cucci (‘21), Jenna Gyimesi, Madison Dunaway (and the entire hatchery team!), Alex Kaplan, Jason Alvarez-Cohen, Shihua Wu (‘20), Elliott Bennett (‘20), and Michael Cavoto (‘13). You all made it a weekend Start@Shea will never forget, thank you so much!

Jenna Steichen (’21) with some of our attendees after leading her workshop Cracking the VC Interview.

Special shoutout to the Solstice team as well, Alex Park (MCAS ‘24), Chloe Chen (CSOM ‘24), Colin Lee (MCAS ‘23), Alina Yan (CSOM ‘23), Julia Burdsall (CSOM ’25), Molly Dugan (MCAS ‘25), and once again Maggie Yan (CSOM ‘22), I am beyond impressed with how the conference turned out and I can’t imagine how gratifying it feels for all of your hard work to come to fruition.

Solstice team members Molly Dugan (MCAS ‘25), Chloe Chen (CSOM ‘24), Julia Burdsall (CSOM ‘25), Alex Park (MCAS ‘24), Maggie Yan (CSOM ‘22), Colin Lee (MCAS ‘23), and Alina Yan (CSOM ’23) after our opening dinner.

I want to close Solstice out with a few words from our co-chair and solstice lead Alex Park (MCAS ‘24). He was the team leader and the bookends of our weekend, and no one is better to put a bow on it. Alex says, “Solstice was a nice culmination of all of the hard work the team and board have put in since the start of the summer. I’m extremely proud of them all and know that no other group would have been able to pull this off. It was amazing to see the impact we had and hope the attendees took something away from the weekend, Having speakers and workshop leads from a variety of industries as well as attendees from multiple schools was special — helps to show the legacy Start@Shea is hoping to establish and put BC entrepreneurship on the map.”

After Solstice wrapped up we finalized our cohort of ambassadors! Our development team led by Chloe Chen (’24) and Kevin Koh (’24) was hard at work designing and launching the perfect pipeline into Shea. We are so excited to work with our freshmen to build up their experiences and find the next generation of entrepreneurs, and maybe even some future board members. After reviewing applications we decided on 25 ambassadors from all around campus and introduced them to the Shea Center with a barbecue in the mods! Here’s to a bunch more fun with our ambassadors!

Members of the board reviewing ambassador applications!

Shea@The Mods was such a nice way to celebrate the month and welcome the ambassadors and mentors. Thanks to grill master Jack Russell (CSOM ’23) for hosting us! The burgers never tasted better. We have a special group this year, and I can’t wait to get to know everyone!

Group photo of our Shea community for Shea@TheMods!

Our last events of the month were a wonderful lunch with Colleen and John Morrissey, as well as Michelle Bishop-Dorsey and the 245 Beacon Street Showcase. It was a very special opportunity to learn more about Ed Shea from those who were lucky enough to know him and to really see how we are continuing his legacy. The support they have given us is a true honor and we are eternally grateful.

Chloe Chen (CSOM ‘24), PJ Genta (CSOM ‘23), Alex Park (MCAS 24) John Morrissey, Colleen Morrissey, Sophia Cassidy (CSOM ‘23), Kevin Koh (MCAS ‘24), Colin Lee (MCAS ‘22), and Kelsey Renda (’12) after lunch together.

After our luncheon, we were invited to the 245 Beacon Street Showcase that evening to show off what Start@Shea brings to the greater BC community. Every board member in attendance had wonderful conversations with members of the Board of Trustees and some of Boston College’s benefactors, and we all took so much pride in sharing our passion for all that we do on campus with the people who make it possible. Some notable attendees include Michelle Bishop-Dorsey, John and Colleen Morrissey as previously mentioned, Peter Bell, Pat Grady, Father Leahy, and Phil Schiller. Thank you to everyone who attended and for including Start@Shea in your celebration of this wonderful new building. We are so lucky to have a space here and for all the support we have been given.

Alex Park (MCAS ‘24), Sophia Cassidy (CSOM ’22), Alina Yan (CSOM ‘22), Phil Schiller (‘82), Emma Raith (CSOM ’24), Chris Carrabes (CSOM ‘25), Kevin Koh (MCAS ‘24), Colin Lee (MCAS ‘22), Kelsey Renda (’12) Colleen Morrissey, and John Morrissey at the 245 Beacon Street Celebration.

Looking forward to the next month, our Elevator Pitch Competition is coming up and if you have literally any idea, please apply! You never know, one pitch could make you rich. Apply by Monday, Oct 3rd at 11:59 PM!

Thanks for reading! We are Start@Shea, the student executive team of the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College.

If you want to learn more about who we are, what we do, and our upcoming events, please feel free to visit our website. You can also subscribe to our newsletter here, and if you have any further questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at startatshea@gmail.com!

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The Author: Executive Team Member — Chris Carrabes

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Start@Shea

Start@Shea

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Start@Shea is the student executive team of the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College. Learn more at startatshea.com